Fulton, DeKalb to begin hand recount of presidential election ballots as Biden maintains lead

Fulton and DeKalb counties are gearing up to recount more than 900,000 ballots by hand this weekend as lame duck President Donald Trump continues to make baseless and unfounded claims of voter fraud in Georgia and nationwide. As of Nov. 12, President-elect Joe Biden maintained a 14,000 vote lead in Georgia.

The recount was ordered by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who is quarantining for 14 days after possible COVID-19 exposure, after coming under increased pressure by Republicans in an apparent attempt to appease Trump’s anger amid fears he might not endorse U.S. Senate candidates David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in the Jan. 5 runoff.

Raffensperger has maintained there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Georgia, but said the costly and exhausting recount will help “build confidence” in the outcome of the election.

State taxpayers will be footing the bill as Georgia counties are responsible for the cost of conducting a hand recount, according to Fulton election officials.

Fulton County’s hand count, also called a risk-limiting audit, will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center, Area B1 starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14. The audit will continue daily through Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily.

As Georgia’s largest county, 528,000 ballots were cast in Fulton County for the race for President of the United States. This audit will include a hand review of each of those ballots. Fulton will have nearly 300 poll workers engaged in recount process.

Fulton election officials said the recount will be conducted in public view and there will be an observation area provided for the public and the press (everyone is required to wear face masks and observe social distancing). Each political party will have assigned monitors for the recount.

Fulton County also plans  to live stream the audit process for the public. Details will be provided on Friday, Nov. 13 so check back for an update.

In DeKalb County, the 373,000 ballots to be recounted will be transported from the county elections office on Memorial Drive to a former Sam’s Club on Turner Hill Road near Stonecrest Mall.  The recount will be held daily from  7 a.m. to 11 p.m. beginning Nov. 14 and every day until the recount is complete.

County election officials said there will be two shifts of 150 poll workers, who will work in pairs to complete the separating and recounting of ballots.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley is the editor of Atlanta Intown.