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Georgia recount finds 2,600 uncounted presidential ballots in one county say reports

People continue counting and processing ballots through the early hours of Wednesday morning on Nov. 4, 2020 at the TCF Center in Detroit. (Nicole Hester/Mlive.com/TNS)
November 17, 2020

Over 2,600 previously uncounted ballots in Floyd County, Ga., were found during a recount of the state’s presidential race, a development that could help President Trump shrink his 14,000-vote deficit against Joe Biden.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that President Trump could be looking at an almost 800 net vote increase from the unearthed ballots. Of the 2,600 ballots, 1,643 were for Trump and 865 for Biden.

According to the state’s voting system manager, Gabriel Sterling, county election officials failed to upload votes from a memory card in a ballot-scanning machine. He said the problem was “an amazing blunder” and called for the election director to resign.

“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.”

Luke Martin, chairman of the Floyd County Republican Party, said the uncounted ballots were cast at early in-person voting located at the Floyd County Administration Building, which also houses the county’s elections office.

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According to Martin, the previously uncounted ballots resolve an inconsistency between the number of people who checked in to vote early and the votes that were tallied in the northwest Georgia county.

The votes slipped by due to an issue with an optical scanner that malfunctioned a few weeks into early voting, Martin said. Floyd County election officials were to rescan all paper ballots, but nearly half of them were never recorded.

“It’s very concerning,” Martin said. “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.”

The thousands of uncounted ballots uncovered in Floyd County is the biggest discovery during Georgia’s recount so far. Other counties’ recounted votes are close to their original number, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said.

Chris Harvey, State Elections Director, said the ballots will be rescanned and counted prior to finalizing election results on Friday.

“You want every vote counted right the first time, but that is one of the goals of the audit: to identify problems,” Harvey said. “All the votes will be uploaded, and the results will be what they are.”

Georgia’s 159 counties and their thousands of workers have until midnight on Wednesday, November 18 to finish recounting almost 5 million ballots cast in the contentious presidential election between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden.