More than 2,600 early voted ballots in Georgia have reportedly been uncovered during its recount process that weren’t originally included in the state’s original overall results.
The ballots were found in Floyd County — a GOP stronghold and tentatively confirmed that 1,643 new votes went for President Trump, 865 for Democratic opponent Joe Biden and 16 for Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen. As a result of the discovered ballots, the new tally shows that Trump would gain nearly 800 net votes to help reduce his 14,156 vote deficit.
According to the Secretary of State’s website — 27,120 Floyd County residents cast a ballot for Trump, 10,972 for Biden, and 496 for Jorgensen. The newly reported numbers weren’t included in the totals.
Georgia began recounting over 5 million ballots by hand last Friday that was authorized by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger due to the narrow gap between Trump and Biden. The states’ 159 counties and thousands of county and poll workers have a deadline of Wednesday, Nov. 18 at midnight to finish the recount.
According to Georgia’s voting systems implementation manager, Gabriel Sterling, the cause of the problem was due to the county election officials failure of not uploading the votes from a memory card into a ballot-scanning machine.
During a virtual press conference, Sterling called the mistake “an amazing blunder” due to a human error, not equipment issues.
“This is why you do the audits. It’s not an equipment issue. It’s a person not executing their job properly,” Sterling said. “There’s no issues with any of the equipment or anything — they just didn’t scan these ballots it looks like, or the card was not put through properly. This is the kind of situation that requires a change at the top of their management side.”
Sterling said he would like to see the county’s elections director, Chief Clerk Robert Brady to step down from his position “because this was too important of an issue to have allowed to happen this way.”
“Since this was such an amazing blunder and they had issues in August, would like to see that elections director in Floyd County steps down from his position,” Sterling said.
Raffensperger echoed calls for the election director resignation during his interview with The Washington Post Monday evening, while accusing Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) of pressuring him to toss all of the mail ballots in counties found to have higher rates of nonmatching signatures.
Graham called the accusation claim “ridiculous,” denying that he ever made such a suggestion for Raffensperger toss legal ballots. The South Carolina Senator told reporters that he called the secretary of state to understand the state’s signature-matching requirements.
“The main issue for me is — How do you protect the integrity of mail-in voting, and how does signature verification work?” Graham said.
“If he feels threatened by that conversation, he’s got a problem,” Graham added. “I actually thought it was a good conversation.”
The Secretary also called Rep Doug Collins, (R-GA) who is currently running Trump’s Georgia recount effort, a “liar.”
“I’m an engineer. We look at numbers. We look at hard data,” Raffensperger said. “I can’t help it that a failed candidate like Collins is running around lying to everyone. He’s a liar.”
Collins responded to Raffensperger’s “liar” remarks on Twitter.
In a year of political division in Georgia, few things have unified Republicans and Democrats — one of them is Brad Raffensperger’s incompetence as Secretary of State.— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) November 16, 2020
Floyd County Republican Party chair Luke Martin called the mishap “concerning,” adding the issue “doesn’t appear to be a widespread issue.”
“It’s very concerning,” Martin said. “But this doesn’t appear to be a widespread issue. I’m glad the audit revealed it, and it’s important that all votes are counted.”
According to State Elections Director Chris Harvey, the uncovered ballots will be rescanned and tabulated before results are finalized Friday.
The uncounted ballots in Floyd County is the most significant issue found so far during Georgia’s recount process. Raffensperger said that a majority of the counties’ recount showed figures closely match the original vote tally reported. Officials state they wouldn’t release any results from the tally until the whole process is complete.
An investigator has been dispatched to Floyd county.