Georgia counties have two more days to complete their portion of a recount of the November presidential election.
Several dozen counties have already wrapped up their work ahead of the Wednesday night deadline.
The major metro Atlanta counties are in various stages of completion, says Gabriel Sterling with the secretary of state’s office. DeKalb is nearly done as is Cobb. He says Gwinnett should be finished by lunchtime Tuesday.
But in Fulton, Sterling says, the county is having to re-scan all of its 528,000 ballots because of processing errors. He says this means Fulton will be cutting it close.
“I’d rather have more time to deal with anything that might come up because it’s 2020 and it’s Fulton County,” said Sterling. “But In general, I think we’re still on a good path to have every county, including Fulton County, meet our deadline by midnight on Wednesday.”
Sterling says extra scanners have been deployed to Fulton to help with that effort.
Including the statewide hand count that was part of an audit, this is the third time the nearly 5 million ballots from Georgia’s presidential election have been counted. President-elect Joe Biden was certified as the winner of Georgia’s Electoral College votes, with a 12,670-vote victory over President Donald Trump.
Trump, by law, was able to request the recount because of the closeness of the race. The president’s campaign also continues to insist on an audit of the signatures on Georgia absentee ballots and requests. The campaign has claimed, without evidence, that there is widespread voter fraud involved with absentee voting in Georgia.
The secretary of state’s office has said there’s no evidence to back these claims and that it’s up to a judge to determine if an audit of signatures is needed.
“If there is a lawsuit that comes forward or an election challenge that a judge says there has to be a signature audit, that’s up to that judge,” said Sterling.
The signatures for absentee ballots have already been verified twice during the process.
The outer oath envelope containing the voter’s signature is separated from the ballot after the signature is verified. This is to ensure voter privacy, but it also means there’s no way for a ballot to be traced back to a signature.