A second county in Georgia has unearthed a trove of over 2,700 uncounted ballots on Tuesday that were not included in its previous results, as the state continues its hand recount mandated audit of over 5 million votes.
Officials in Fayette County turned up 2,755 ballots that were not included in the original count. According to Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling, the error occurred due to a memory card that wasn’t been uploaded to a ballot-scanning machine.
“There was an issue where we noticed there were more people on the absentee ballot filed for voting in person in Fayette County than was in the actual reporting,” Sterling said. “It was discovered today for certain. Because of the audit, we found this. There were several places where the county should have seen this.”
Sterling said the problem was the result of several individuals not following the proper procedures.
“There were several human beings that didn’t follow procedure,” Sterling said. “They didn’t do the reconciliation process properly.”
The breakdown of the 2,755 uncounted ballots found 1,577 votes for President Trump, 1,128 for Democrat Joe Biden, 43 for Libertarian Jo Jorgensen, and seven write-ins.
Tuesday’s discovery marks the second time in less than a 24 hour time span that a big batch of votes were uncounted in the state’s original tally.
A small uncounted votes were discovered in a third county on Tuesday as well. 284 ballots were found in Walton County during its recount audit. According to the Walton Tribune, Lori Wood the chair of the Walton County Board of Elections, the problem found that between the two scanners, one uploaded the results while the other one didn’t.
“We would have discovered it,” Wood said. “Maybe not this week, but we would have discovered it.”
The Walton County ballots boosted President Trump’s lead in the heavily Republican county by 176 votes.
Before the uncounted votes were discovered, the certified totals as of last week showed Trump with 37,617, or 74.03%, of 50,811 votes in Walton County. Counting the new unveiled votes, Trump’s local numbers risen to 37,842 or 74.06% of 51,095 votes.
As of Tuesday evening, the updated count trimmed Biden lead down to 12,929.
The recent discovery of Fayette and Walton counties follows the discovery of more than 2,600 uncounted votes in Floyd County. All three counties will have to recertify their results before the 11:59 pm ET Wednesday deadline.
The news comes on the heels of an announcement from embattled Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who revealed he conducted a random audit of a sample of Georgia’s new voting machines and “found no evidence of the machines being tampered.”
Raffensperger last week asked Pro V&V, an Alabama-based testing laboratory, to do the audit of the new election system the state bought last year from Dominion Voting Systems for more than $100 million includes touchscreen voting machines that print paper ballots that are read and tabulated by scanners.
The audit was done on a random sample of voting machines from Cobb, Douglas, Floyd, Morgan, Paulding, and Spalding counties.
The final audited number from all 159 counties in Atlanta is expected to be released on Thursday, according to the secretary of state’s office. Once the results are certified, if the margin between Trump and Biden remains within 0.5%, the campaign trailing can request a recount. Since there is no mandatory recount law in Georgia, the state can offer the option to a trailing candidate if the margin is less than 0.5 percentage points. The recount will be paid for by the state and will be done using scanners that read and tally the votes.
As of Tuesday, the Secretary of State’s Office said 4.7 million out of 5 million votes cast had been hand-counted in the audit with most of Georgia’s counties reporting minor or no discrepancies.
The Associated Press has not declared a winner in Georgia, despite the majority of other mainstream media declaring Biden the projected winner the same day the state began its hand manual audit. Before the audit, Biden leads Trump by 0.3 percentage points.
The deadline for the state to certify the results of the election is Nov. 20.