Given allegations of irregularities in the state and a close margin between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger ordered a hand recount of all ballots that began Friday.
That effort led to the discovery of approximately 2,600 formerly uncounted ballots in the state’s northwestern Floyd County, a majority of which were cast for Trump, Fox News reported.
While the inclusion of those ballots helped Trump slightly close the roughly 14,000-vote gap between him and Biden, it is nowhere near enough to completely erase that gap.
Raffensperger and other election officials have insisted that similar uncounted ballots were not discovered in any other counties and, so far, the recount totals have closely matched the initial tallies following the election.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the problem in Floyd County appeared to be the failure to upload votes on a memory card from a ballot-scanning machine that had been used during the early in-person voting period.
Georgia voting systems manager Gabriel Sterling called the mistake “an amazing blunder” that should result in the resignation of the county’s elections director, Chief Clerk Robert Brady. “It’s not an equipment issue. It’s a person not executing their job properly,” Sterling said. “This is the kind of situation that requires a change at the top of their management side.”
During the early voting period, the original scanning machine had malfunctioned and a replacement machine was brought in for the duration. It was the votes scanned by the replacement machine that were not included in the initial post-election tabulation.
“It’s very concerning,” Chairman of the Floyd County Republican Party Luke Martin said of the error. “But this doesn’t appear to be a widespread issue. I’m glad the audit revealed it, and it’s important that all votes are counted.”
Dominion Voting Systems
Meanwhile, the Floyd County Elections Board will hold a special emergency meeting Thursday to address personnel issues, namely the multitude of calls for Brady to resign from his position, the Rome News-Tribune reported Tuesday.
Raffensperger’s office has sent an investigator to the county to determine exactly what happened that led to the exclusion of the 2,600 votes from the initial tally. Floyd County Commission Chair Scotty Hancock called the mistake “unacceptable” and revealed that election officials were working with Dominion Voting Systems to figure out whether the county workers or the system were at fault for the oversight.
While the discovery of these non-tabulated ballots in Floyd County has certainly raised pertinent questions about the possibility of similar mistakes in other counties, election officials have claimed that no such mistakes have been discovered elsewhere during the recount thus far.
The statewide recount ordered by Raffensperger should be completed within the next few days, and it remains to be seen if the state’s results will be certified or subject to additional review at that time.