Ga. ballot check affirms presidential outcome in favor of Biden

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 11:46 PM EST
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ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced that the audit of ballots cast in Georgia’s presidential contest affirmed the original outcome produced by the machine tally of votes cast.

The audit affirmed the outcome of the presidential race in Georgia as originally reported, with Joe Biden narrowly leading President Donald Trump in the state.

The tight margin of the race prompted the hand tally of ballots. It was confirmed on Thursday night that the original machine count accurately portrayed the winner of the election.

“Georgia’s historic first statewide audit reaffirmed that the state’s new secure paper ballot voting system accurately counted and reported results,” Raffensperger said in a statement. “This is a credit to the hard work of our county and local elections officials who moved quickly to undertake and complete such a momentous task in a short period of time.”

By law, Georgia was required to conduct a “risk limiting audit” of a statewide race after the Nov. 3 election.

The process led to multiple counties across the state catching making mistakes made in the original count by not uploading all memory cards:

Raffensperger’s office said the difference in the audit results from the original machine-counted results is well within the expected margin of human error that occurs when hand-counting ballots.

A 2012 study by Rice University and Clemson University found that “hand counting of votes in postelection audit or recount procedures can result in error rates of up to 2 percent.”

In Georgia’s recount, the highest error rate in any county recount was 0.73 percent. Most counties found no change in their final tally, and the majority of the remaining counties had changes of fewer than 10 ballots.

Because the margin is still less than 0.5 percent, President Trump Donald can request a recount after certification of the results. That recount would be conducted by rescanning all paper ballots.

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