Georgia recount announced, ballots to be counted by hand

Daily News Article   —   Posted on November 12, 2020

(by Kevin Breuninger, CNBC) — Georgia will conduct a statewide recount of ballots cast in the election between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden, Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Wednesday.

“With the margin being so close, it will require a full, by-hand recount in each county,” Raffensperger said at a press conference.

Raffensperger, a Republican, said the state will work with county officials to complete the recount in time to meet its Nov. 20 deadline for certifying statewide election results.

“It’ll take every bit of the time we have left, for sure,” he said.

Biden’s lead over Trump in Georgia is 14,089 votes of the nearly 5 million cast, according to NBC News, which has not projected a winner in the Peach State.

…[Georgia] has traditionally voted for Republican presidential nominees. [The state last voted for a Democrat in 1992, with Bill Clinton taking 43.47% of the vote to George H.W. Bush’s 42.88%].

Trump’s supporters, including GOP Rep. Doug Collins, asked the Georgia official earlier this week for a hand recount.

“This will help build confidence. It will be an audit, a recount and a recanvass all at once,” Raffensperger said. “It will be a heavy lift but we will work with the counties to get this done in time for our state certification.”

… [The Trump campaign made] accusations of electoral fraud…[in several states]. Trump campaign lawyers have filed lawsuits in multiple key states related to those claims….

[Although the media has declared Biden the winner], the transition of power to a Biden administration cannot formally begin until the General Services Administration makes an “ascertainment” of the winner, which it has so far refused to do.

Raffensperger said at the press conference that at 1 p.m. ET, he will declare the presidential race in his state is subject to a “risk-limiting audit.”

“We’ll be counting every single piece of paper, every single ballot. every single lawfully cast, legal ballot,” he said.

When a reporter noted that such an audit usually involves just a sample of the ballots, rather than the entire body of votes, Raffensperger said, “you actually have to do a full hand-by-hand recount of all [ballots] because the margin is so close.”…..

[“We’re doing this because it’s really what makes the most sense,” he said. “With the national significance of this race, and the closeness of this race, we have to run a statewide audit.”].

Published at CNBC .com. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from CNBC. 


Georgia’s new voting machines (made by Dominion Voting Systems), made their statewide debut this year. The voting machines allow voters to make their choices on a touch-screen. Then a printer spits out a ballot with a summary that shows, in writing, the candidates selected, so the voter can review them. The same information is translated and printed in a two-dimensional bar code that scanners can read.

When the state picked this system, advocates of hand-marked ballots objected. They argued in a lawsuit that the text summary would give voters no way to “visually review and confirm whether the bar code accurately conveys their intended selections.” (from a WSJ editorial)

An election recount is a process by which votes cast in an election are re-tabulated to verify the accuracy of the original results.

Many states require a close vote margin for a recount to take place. This margin is typically either a number or percentage of votes separating candidates... These margins might differ based on the type or level of office. For automatic recounts, the close vote margin is the margin in which results must fall before the recount is triggered. For requested recounts, candidates or voters might not be able to make the request unless the results fall within the close vote margin.

IN GEORGIA, election officials, including the secretary of state, may request recounts. These recounts may be conducted before the certification of election results.

A losing candidate may also request a recount if the margin is less than or equal to 0.5%. This threshold was set in 2019 following the passage of H.B. 319. (Georgia's official website describing its recount rules contains outdated information.)

Under Georgia law, recounts may be requested under the following conditions: