Georgia audit finds 2,600 new votes in presidential race

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FILE – In this Nov. 13, 2020, file photo officials sort ballots during an audit at the Floyd County administration building in Rome, Ga. (AP Photo/Ben Gray, File)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – As Georgia’s hand recount of the presidential race continues for the fourth day, officials say about 2,600 ballots not previously counted in Floyd County have been found.

“It doesn’t change the final outcome, but it does change the percentages slightly,” said Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting implementation manager, in a virtual press conference Monday.

Sterling said the unofficial breakdown of the ballots gives President Donald Trump more than 1,600 votes. This would cut the margin, currently at 14,155, but keep President-elect Joe Biden in the lead.

The secretary of state’s office is not only sending an investigator to look into the issue but also calling for the firing of Floyd County’s election director.

Sterling explained that at this point in the investigation, it seems a memory card from a machine used during early voting wasn’t properly loaded.

“Normally, that would be caught by checks and balances within a county, which is the reason the secretary feels like, in this particular case, it was an egregious thing,” he said.

Sterling said that the audit revealed the error, not county officials doing they’re due dilligence.

“It’s a little frustrating,” he said.

The hand count is part of a risk-limiting audit to confirm election results and give the public confidence in the outcome, as Georgia recently implemented a new paper ballot voting system.

The presidential race was chosen for the audit because of the close margin. Counties have until Wednesday to finish the recount, and the state has until Friday to certify the results.

By state law, Biden or Trump could call for an additional recount in Georgia because the margin between them is less than 0.5%.

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