Gwinnett County’s presidential race recount gets underway

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — The recount for the 2020 presidential election got underway in Gwinnett County Tuesday afternoon.

In all, the county has more than 400,000 ballots to unlock, sort and scan, which is expected to take days.

“We have counted these ballots more than one time. We have handled these ballots more than five times,” said Kristi Royston, Gwinnett County Elections Supervisor.

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Channel 2 Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Tony Thomas watched on Tuesday afternoon as election workers one by one began scanning ballots. They said their focus was to start counting the 73,505 ballots cast on Election Day.

“The recount will be very different from the audit because we will be using the scanners on every ballot instead of hand counting every ballot,” Royston said.

That hand count audit just finished a few days ago, but now at the request of the Trump campaign, some 22 workers are starting the process again.


The computer printouts from the voting machines are locked in blue bags and batch by batch are brought out to be scanned.

“The $1 million question: How quick do you think it can go?” Thomas asked Royston.

“The thing of it is we did a recount in June (so) we have a little bit of an advantage maybe over some of the counties that haven’t done one,” Royston said.

That recount was for the county chairman’s race and had far fewer ballots than the general presidential election.

Monitors from both the Republican and Democratic parties are watching every move.

[READ: Key Dates for 2020 Runoff Elections in Georgia]

“How much of a stress is this on your staff?” Thomas asked Royston.

“I think always in elections you have to be resilient, and this year has done more than that,” Royston said.

The counting Tuesday is expected to continue through 8 p.m. and then will pick back up Wednesday morning.

Counties have a deadline of Dec. 2 to complete the recount. Officials told Thomas they expect the process to last into next week.