Georgia’s hand audit of ballots cast in the presidential election is proceeding rapidly with little change in the results so far, according to lawyers working for President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign.
Some 48 of the state’s 159 counties have finished their examination of the ballots with either no change or minor shifts — differences of fewer than five votes in some instances, they said. Four counties that have finished their retallies reported having no changes.
Biden won the first count by over 14,000 votes. Election officials on Saturday started auditing almost 5 million ballots.
“More Georgians voted for President-elect Biden than voted for President Trump,” said Marc Elias, a prominent Democratic lawyer who’s aiding the campaign. “There is nothing that the recount’s going to do to change that.”
Because of the closeness of the result, less than 0.3 percentage points, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, ordered a statewide, hand recount of ballots. The process is due to be completed by Nov. 20 though a superior court judge could move the deadline if needed.
The Trump campaign has said it’s found widespread voting irregularities but has cited little evidence to substantiate its claims. Trump and his allies have also launched lawsuits in the state. One, alleging fewer than 60 absentee ballots in Chatham County were improperly counted, has already been dismissed, while two others are pending.
The president tweeted on Sunday that Georgia’s “recount is a scam, means nothing.” The post was flagged as “disputed” by Twitter.
On Wednesday the Trump campaign issued a press release with four examples of what it said were dead people who voted in the election, and also mentioned the people by name on Twitter.
An online Atlanta television station, WXIA or 11 Alive,reported on Friday that a ballot the campaign said had been cast by a man, James E. Blalock, who died in 2006 had in fact been cast by his elderly widow, who has always used her married name — Mrs James E. Blalock — to vote.
Biden’s lawyers were confident the various Trump suits wouldn’t succeed. “The Trump campaign’s claims about the elections do not survive first contact with the facts on the ground,” said Patrick Moore, deputy general counsel for the campaign, said Sunday.
The lawyers praised Georgia’s voting system, and credited it with the very small number of inaccurately counted votes. They said touch-screen machines that early and Election Day voters use to cast ballots in person produced both printed and digital records that made it easier to check results. They also praised the state’s process for reviewing absentee ballots, noting that even before the recount, ballots rejected by counting machines had been reviewed a panel of officials.
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