The Georgia secretary of state announced Thursday the completion of the state’s hand recount of votes cast in the 2020 presidential election and affirmed former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead.
The recount, which consisted of a full manual tally of all five million votes cast, began November 13, per the secretary of state’s office. The office is required to certify the results by Friday.
Initial results found Biden ahead of President Donald Trump by about 14,000 votes. The recount found Biden ahead by 12,284 votes. The secretary of state’s office said the variation in the results was anticipated.
“The differential of the audit results from the original machine counted results is well within the expected margin of human error that occurs when hand-counting ballots,” Ben Adida, executive director of VotingWorks, said in the secretary of state’s announcement. The secretary of state cited a study finding that “hand counting of votes in postelection audit or recount procedures can result in error rates of up to 2 percent.”
The office reported that in Georgia’s recount, the highest error rate in any county recount was .73 percent and said most counties did not see changes in their final tallies.
During the recount, four counties encountered striking errors. Local outlet WMAZ summarized each of the four issues, identifying Floyd County’s as the most significant. In Floyd, roughly 2,600 uncounted ballots were discovered during the recount, giving Trump an additional 778 votes.
In a press conference Thursday, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani cited alleged fraud in Georgia’s election and announced that a lawsuit in the state was forthcoming. Giuliani also objected to the recount specifically because of concerns with envelope signature matching. “The recount being done in Georgia will tell us nothing because these fraudulent ballots will just be counted again because they wouldn’t provide the signatures to match the ballots. So, it means nothing,” Giuliani said.
Trump expressed the same concern with envelope signatures:
Almost ZERO ballots rejected in Georgia this election. In years past, close to 4%. Not possible. Must have signature check on envelopes now. Very easy to do. Dems fighting because they got caught. Far more votes than needed for flip. Republicans must get tough! @BrianKempGA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2020
Because the margin of Biden’s lead is within 0.5 percent, Trump’s campaign is also entitled to request a machine recount within two days of the results’ certification.
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