Georgia Secretary of State Orders Full Hand Recount, Audit and Recanvass
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) ordered a full hand recount, including an audit and a recanvass of the presidential race on Wednesday morning.
Following his order, Raffensperger held a press conference and told reporters, “With the margin being so close, it will require a full, “by hand” recount in each county. This will help build confidence. It will be an audit, a recount and a recanvass, all at once…We will work with the counties to get this done in time for our state certification [deadline],” which is November 20.
He indicated that if the margin is still within 0.5 percent when the recount is complete, either candidate can request a second recount. That recount, however, “would be conducted using scanners, not by hand.”
Currently, President Trump trails former Vice President Joe Biden by 14,108 votes in the state. Nearly five million ballots were cast.
Following this announcement, Raffensperger took questions. The questions were nearly inaudible. Raffensperger’s responses, however, were clear.
He told reporters that, “Because we now have that verifiable paper ballot, for the first time in 18 years, we’re going to have something to count, instead of just pressing a button and getting the same answer. So, we’ll be counting every single piece of paper, every single ballot, every single legally cast ballot.”
“In risk-limiting audits, every ballot is not necessarily examined for accuracy. But, because of the closeness of the presidential race, that is what will happen to every ballot in Georgia.”
He was apparently asked why they couldn’t just draw random groups of ballots. He indicated that because the margin was so close and the outcome so important to Americans, they must go through the process of counting each ballot by hand.
Raffensperger said, “When you have five million votes and the margin is so close…mathematically, you actually have to do a full, hand-by-hand recount of all [the ballots].”
On Monday, frustrated by Raffensperger’s handling of the election, Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler issued a joint statement calling for his resignation. The statement read: “Georgians are outraged, and rightly so. We have been clear from the beginning: every legal vote cast should be counted. Any illegal vote must not. And there must be transparency and uniformity in the counting process.”
Raffensperger responded in a statement of his own which said:
Earlier today Senators Loeffler and Perdue called for my resignation. Let me start by saying that is not going to happen. The voters of Georgia hired me, and the voters will be the one to fire me.
As Secretary of State, I’ll continue to fight every day to ensure fair elections in Georgia, that every legal vote counts, and that illegal votes don’t count.
I know emotions are running high. Politics are involved in everything right now. If I was Senator Perdue, I’d be irritated I was in a runoff. And both Senators and I are all unhappy with the potential outcome for our President.
As we all know, Perdue and Loeffler will face their Democratic opponents in runoff races on January 5. The outcome of these races will determine the control of the Senate.
Georgia media outlet “Atlanta News Now” released a poll which shows both Republicans with slight leads in those races. Perdue is ahead of Democrat Jon Ossoff by a margin of 50-46. Loeffler leads her rival, Raphael Warnock, a pastor, by a margin of 49-48. After videos of a celebration of Fidel Castro at Warnock’s church and his defense of Jeremiah Wright surfaced, things may be about to change even more in Loeffler’s favor.