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A recount of ballots in Georgia’s presidential race revealed more than 2,600 ballots in Floyd County that were never entered into the final tally.
Floyd County Republican Party Chairman Luke Martin says the ballots, once counted, will likely give President Trump a roughly 800-vote bite into Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s roughly 14,000-vote lead, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Trump is currently leading Biden in Floyd County by a nearly 43% margin of difference.
The recovered votes may also help out GOP Sen. David Perdue, who is roughly 14,000 votes away from securing 50% of the vote in his bid for reelection and avoiding a runoff against Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff.
“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.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office said the votes were missed because election workers failed to upload a memory card containing the votes into a ballot counting machine. The Floyd County discrepancy does not appear to be a widespread issue, the office of the secretary of state said.
Floyd County has had other problems tallying votes this election cycle. About half of a batch of 5,000 ballots were not initially recorded after being missed by scanner.
State Elections Director Chris Harvey said the 2,600 missed ballots will be added to the final vote count by the time the recount is over 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.”
Raffensperger initiated the recount last week, saying it was necessary to restore voter confidence in the 2020 election results.
“This will help build confidence. It will be an audit, a recount and a recanvas all at once,” Raffensperger said at the press conference. “It will be a heavy lift.”
The secretary of state had said just days after the election that the state was headed for a recount because the presidential race was so close.
“Right now, Georgia remains too close to call,” Raffensperger said at a news conference on Nov. 6. “Out of approximately 5 million votes cast, we will have a margin of a few thousand. The focus for our office and for the county election officials for now remains on making sure that every legal is counted and recorded accurately.”
Raffensperger has had a rocky election season and taken heated criticism from GOP and Democratic politicians and candidates running for election in Georgia. On Nov. 9, both of Georgia’s GOP senators, Kelly Loeffler and Perdue, echoed their Democratic challengers’ calls that Raffensperger should resign over errors in the state’s election process.
“While blame certainly lies elsewhere as well, the buck ultimately stops with the Secretary of State. The mismanagement and lack of transparency from the Secretary of State is unacceptable. Honest elections are paramount to the foundations of our democracy,” Loeffler and Perdue said in a joint statement. “The Secretary of State has failed to deliver honest and transparent elections. He has failed the people of Georgia, and he should step down immediately.”
Raffensperger hit back at the senators in his own statement, saying, “that is not going to happen. The voters of Georgia hired me, and the voters will be the one to fire me.”