Georgia will recount all presidential votes by hand. State officials announced Wednesday that they verifying five million presidential votes. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says they are working on a deadline. State law requires an election certification by November 20. Democrat Joe Biden leads the state by 14,111 votes. This represents 0.3% of the total votes, and this small margin necessitated the recount. Given the slim margin, the recount is a prudent decision to make.
“We’ll be counting every single piece of paper, every single ballot, every single lawfully cast, legal ballot,” Raffensperger said. “People will be working lots of overtime in the next coming week.”
Raffensperger said the presidential contest will undergo a “risk-limiting audit.” This is an election verification process using a statistical formula. This determines how many electronic votes need manual checking. This rules out errors or fraud. Usually in risk-limiting audits, note every ballot requires examination. But due to the race being tight, Georgia will have to recount all votes.
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“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],” Raffensperger said. “It will be an audit, a recount, and a recanvass all at once.”
Raffensperger Under Fire
Raffensperger received major criticism from fellow Republicans. Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler called for his resignation. They echoed the President’s allegations that the election results are questionable. Raffensperger said he would not resign, and defended Georgia’s election integrity.
After the deadline, a candidate can ask for a recount if the margin is within half a percentage point. The recount would use scanners instead of manual counts. “It’ll take every bit of the time we have left, for sure. It is a big lift,” Raffensperger said.
Georgia’s Voting System
Georgia’s new voting machines made their debut this year. They feature a touch screen where voters can make their choices. The machine then prints a ballot with a summary of candidates the voter chose for review. This is printed in a bar code that scanners will read. When the state selected this system, there were objections. Detractors say voters won’t be able to confirm if the bar codes listed their actual votes.
Instead of auditing statistical samples, Raffensperger will audit the entire vote. “With the margin being so close, it will require a full, by hand recount in each county,” he explained. “This will help build confidence. It will be an audit, a recount, and a recanvass all at once.”
Faith in the System
While Raffensperger believes the tally won’t change, the audit will prove something. It’ll prove the Georgia voting system works. “I have faith in the accuracy of the electronic voting machines,” he said. “I believe the results are accurate.”
The Republicans said they will wait for the counting and certification of all the votes. A recount in Georgia would go a long way proving one thing or another. If the votes are accurate, then this gives the final word. If it’s not, then it’s the first step to remedy the situation.
No Lectures from Democrats
Republican Senator and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell supports the notion to check the votes. He said that Democrats did the same thing in 2016 when they were lagging in the count. He said: “let’s have no lectures about how the President should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election.” He reiterated that they will “have no lectures on this subject from that contingent.”
“At this time last week, small-business owners in cities across America were boarding up their windows in case President Trump appeared to win and far-left mobs decided to reprise their summertime rioting,” he said. “Suffice to say a few legal inquiries from the President do not exactly spell the end of the Republic.”
Settling the matter once and for all
Georgia’s audit of the presidential votes should settle the matter once and for all. Instead of looking at this as a roadblock, we should look at this as affirmation. That the voting machines work, that the system works, that democracy works. As for the Democrats, if they’ve waited for four years to take the wheel, what’s a few more weeks?
Whether this changes the vote count is immaterial. The point of the recount is to renew faith in the election process. If it confirms the vote is accurate, then well and good. It’ll be easier for the vanquished party to accept the will of the people.
Watch this as CBS News reports that Georgia will recount the presidential recount by hand:
Do you support Georgia’s decision to recount the votes by hand? Or do you think it’s a waste of resources and just delay the inevitable. Let us know what you think by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below.
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