Georgia will have a full hand recount of its presidential race, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Wednesday.
Georgia has been the focus of national attention during this election for its close margins and its new status as a swing state. President-elect Joe Biden currently leads President Donald Trump by 14,111 votes, Raffensperger said. The state will have a “full, by-hand recount” of ballots in a risk-limiting audit.
The audit, which will be “an audit, a recount and a recanvass all at once,” is meant to increase confidence in the presidential election results, Raffensperger said. A recanvass is a review of vote totals in each county, while a recount is a more official process that includes a detailed examination of ballots. Raffensperger said the audit will be done before the state certification deadline, which he called a “heavy lift.”
The deadline is Nov. 20, according to the Georgia Code.
According to the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections, the runoff for Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney in Athens-Clarke and Oconee Counties will be held on Dec. 1.
“This will protect the integrity of both elections and make for better election administration. It has the added benefit of saving taxpayers millions of dollars,” Raffensperger said.
In an election surrounded by controversy over claims of unproven election fraud, Raffensperger said the Secretary of State’s Office will continue to investigate every case of alleged voter fraud, including double voting, felon voting and people voting from outside the state.
“Every legal vote will count,” he said.
Election workers will be paid overtime and overseen as they recount ballots to ensure security, Raffensperger said. The hand recount will be the total that the state certifies, even if it differs from the original count. It’s unlikely that a recount will change the results of the election enough that it swings in Trump’s favor.
CORRECTION: The article previously misstated the timeline for local runoff races. The Secretary of State's Office notified Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections officials after the press conference that the race for district attorney will still be held on Dec. 1.