Georgia will recount all votes in presidential race by hand, Secretary of State says

Georgia will recount all votes in presidential race by hand, Secretary of State says

ATLANTA — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Wednesday the state will conduct a recount of all votes -- by hand.

Channel 2 Action News brought you the news conference LIVE this morning.

Currently, President-elect Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by more than 14,000 votes in Georgia.

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Channel 2′s Justin Gray got an inside look at the room where county election directors and state staff are mapping out exactly how they are going to do the recount of nearly 5 million votes by hand -- all before next Friday.

Gray said it was initially expected that Raffensperger would pick a race for a state-wide audit, and everything that’s been told to us up until now, was the audit would only look at a percentage of the votes.

Now, the Secretary of State says what he calls a “probability theorem” will require a full hand-count of every vote in the presidential race.

Another curve ball? Raffensperger announced that the race he has selected to audit is the presidency.

Gray asked Raffensperger if this decision was due to any pressure from the Trump campaign, but the Secretary of State said no.

“With the margin being so close, it will require a full by-hand recount in each county. This will help build confidence. It will be an audit, a recount and a recanvas all at once,” Raffensperger said.

Gray said it is also exactly what the Trump campaign asked this week for. The recount is a huge job. It’s going to mean lots of staff working long hours at every county in the state. Those counties also will likely foot the bill for that.

Gray asked the Secretary of State if it would be possible to get the count done by the certification deadline next Friday.

“Well, I’ve already talked to several of the election directors here, and they are prepared to work overtime,” Raffensperger said. “We know that Nov. 20 is our goal.”

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Gray then asked Raffensperger how people working long hours will be more accurate than a computer. Raffensperger said there will be people watching the ballot-counters.

“That’s why there are going to be plenty of eyeballs on them to verify that every vote is accurately counted, and that’s the way the process works,” Raffensperger said.

Raffensperger has been at the center of fight between some Republican officials who say that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia’s election. Raffensperger said he has investigators on staff whose sole job is to look into wrongdoing. He said so far, nobody has provided any evidence of any significant voter fraud in Georgia.

“We haven’t found any widespread fraud. We will investigate every single case that voters bring to us,” Raffensperger said.

But Raffensperger’s Republican colleagues are, like the president, claiming voting irregularities.

This week, Rep. Doug Collins requested a by-hand recount on behalf of Trump.

Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight Action tweeted in response to the news of the recount, “Georgia voters decided. Donald Trump cannot overturn the will of Georgia voters.”

Gray asked Raffensperger what he would do if the by-hand count doesn’t match the computer count.

“It would become the risk-limiting audit that becomes the full recount,” Raffensperger said.

TIMELINE: When will Georgia's election results be certified?