Election

As Georgia Audit Draws To A Close, Errors Narrowly Shrink Biden Advantage

The statewide audit of Georgia's presidential race is scheduled to wrap up Wednesday night. State officials say most counties have seen little change in their vote counts.
The statewide audit of Georgia's presidential race is scheduled to wrap up Wednesday night. State officials say most counties have seen little change in their vote counts.
Credit Emil Moffatt / WABE
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President-elect Joe Biden’s lead in the Georgia presidential race has been reduced by another 400 votes after more than 2,700 un-reported ballots were found in Fayette County.

Gabriel Sterling, with the Secretary of State’s office, says the votes were cast during the early voting period.

“So that means they had a scanner that they emptied the ballots out from, but never uploaded the memory card that had the record of those votes,” said Sterling.

Trump also picked up some 800 votes on Monday because of an error in Floyd County. Biden’s lead now unofficially stands at 12,929.

Sterling says the majority of counties who’ve mostly completed their hand count have found very little –
if any variation in what the scanners recorded originally. Fifty-seven counties matched their machine count precisely, according to Sterling.

He says about 200,000 votes remain to be counted statewide prior to Wednesday night’s deadline.

“At the end of this hand recount process, we are confident the Election Day result will be reaffirmed: Georgians have selected Joe Biden as their next Commander in Chief,” said Jaclyn Rothenberg with the Biden campaign.

Sterling, along with his boss, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, have said since Nov. 4 that there is no evidence of widespread fraud or irregularities in Georgia’s Nov. 3 election. On Tuesday, their office released a forensic analysis of the state’s new voting machines that showed there was no evidence of hacking or tampering.

But the Trump campaign continues to claim, without evidence, that Georgia’s absentee ballot program is fraught with widespread fraud, particularly in the signature verification process.

Georgia counties must compare the signature on each absentee ballot envelope with the signature on the absentee ballot application with the signature on a person’s voter registration card.

According to Sterling, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, in a phone call on Monday with the Secretary of State’s office, asked if absentee ballots from counties with a high percentage of signature rejections could be tossed out altogether.

Sterling said it should be a judge who decides whether or not counties accepted invalid signatures on absentee ballots.

“We did suggest that there was nothing within our law to let anything like that happen, but they can do their due process and go to a court and ask for those kinds of things,” said Sterling.

More than 1.3 million Georgians voted by mail in the November election. Biden received nearly 850,000 of those votes.

On Tuesday, the Secretary of State’s office said the original scanner count of the ballots, plus the correction of errors found during the audit, will be what the plan to certify later this week.

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