Georgia’s audit vs. recount: What’s the difference?

ATLANTA — Five million votes for president have been hand-counted in Georgia.

But don’t get it confused with the actual recount.

On Nov. 11, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced during a news conference that the state will conduct a presidential vote recount by hand. But this isn’t the recount.

State law requires an audit but leaves it up to the top elections official to choose the race. Raffensperger chose to audit the presidential election results because the margin is so tight.

Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by nearly 13,000 votes statewide after thousands of missing ballots were discovered during the count.

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The secretary of state’s office has said that any time ballots are recounted, the outcome is likely to be slightly different.

Raffensperger has given a Wednesday at midnight deadline for all of Georgia’s 159 counties to turn in their audit results.

So what’s next? An actual recount.

There is no mandatory recount law in Georgia, but state law provides that option to a trailing candidate if the margin is less than 0.5 percentage points.

President Trump has officially requested a recount, which will be done using scanners that read and tally the votes. It will run from Nov. 24 through Dec. 2.