Georgia official confirms ‘by-hand recount’ in all counties, statewide audit of presidential race

As one of the few states where the margin of votes in the recent presidential race remains too close to call, it could still be a few more days before the final tally is clear in Georgia.

In an announcement on Wednesday, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said that there would be a complete “by-hand recount in each county” in the wake of the exceptionally close race, as reported by Breitbart.

“Statistically meaningful”

The Republican official’s confirmation of the recount came after a request from the Trump campaign, which was backed by the threat of a lawsuit.

Team Trump claimed reports of potential fraud and other irregularities warranted a closer examination of the statewide election.

“At 1 p.m. today, I will make the official designation of which race will be the subject of the RLA [risk-limiting audit],” Raffensperger said during his Wednesday recent press conference, according to Breitbart. “At that time, I will designate that the RLA will be the presidential race.”

NBC News explained that the audit was made possible through a recently passed state law requiring election officials to conduct an analysis of a “statistically meaningful sample of ballots” in a way that has been “mathematically designated to catch anomalies that would arise from misconfigured machines, procedural errors or intentional attack.”

This is the first race for which the new system will be tested, and there are no guarantees about the audit’s final results. Nevertheless, Raffensperger previously suggested the review would deliver an “over 90 percent confidence level” in regard to the accuracy of the vote count before the results are certified.

“A full comparison”

The extensive recount will go hand-in-hand with the audit, he explained.

“This will help build confidence,” Raffensperger said, noting that the process would include “an audit, a recount, and a recanvass all at once,” as Breitbart reported.

He acknowledged the process would be “a heavy lift,” but vowed to “work with the counties to get this done in time for our state certification.”

The day before Raffensberger’s announcement, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), who is a Trump campaign leader in the state, called on officials to launch an audit and recount.

As Collins said on Tuesday: “First, there must be a full comparison of absentee ballots cast and in-person and provisional ballots cast throughout the state. Second, there must be a check for felons and other ineligible persons who may have cast a ballot. Third, and most importantly, the Secretary of State should announce a full hand-count of every ballot cast in each and every county due to widespread allegations of voter irregularities, issues with voting machines, and poll watcher access.”

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