AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A recount is looming and Richmond County election leaders are setting the date, time, and place. But this time, votes will be recounted by machine not by hand.
The Board of Elections decided Tuesday to start recounting the votes cast for president on November 30.
“We’ll run from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day until we get finished. Our deadline to get finished is Wednesday, December the second so we’ll just work daily until we get finished. We think it’ll take us two days to finish it,” said Lynn Bailey, Executive Director of the Richmond County Board of Elections.
Election results were certified November 20 by Secretary of State Brad Raffesnsperger and they showed Joe Biden beat President Trump by 12,670 votes. That slim margin between the five million votes cast is nearly .25%. Under the law, a candidate can request a recount when a margin is less than .5%.
About 87,500 ballots will be recounted in Richmond County.
“Do I think it will change enough to benefit one particular candidate or another or change the outcome of the election? No, I do not. What we’ve seen in past recounts when we have votes change like that it’s pretty evenly distributed and a very small percentage of votes cast,” said Bailey.
The upcoming recount is much different from an audit.
Gabriel Sterling, Georgia Voting System Implementation Manager explained, “The by hand thing, like I said that was the audit. That proves that the machines actually did their job and counted out ballots right the first time. Now the recount by statute is well defined by the state election board is the way to get through five million ballots is to go through using the central scanners and that is how it’s prescribed under the law.”
Recounts are not too uncommon in Ricmond County but this one will be different since a new voting system was used in the 2020 general election.
“It’s paper-based so it changes things as far as chain of custody. As far as how you go about the recount. It’s just different. With this new system every single piece of paper, every single ballot of those 87,530 ballots cast here in Richmond County will be fed back through a scanner. Re-read fresh,” said Bailey.