Here’s how some metro Atlanta counties are planning to recount ballots by hand

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced that he will require a by-hand recount of ballots cast in the Georgia election Wednesday, sending counties scrambling to figure out how to go about such a massive task.

By Wednesday night, some metro Atlanta counties still didn’t have a plan to get through the massive workload.

Channel 2′s Sophia Choi was in DeKalb County, where elections officials are going to use two teams of 150 people to get the job done, starting on Friday.

Every ballot will be counted by two groups of workers. The first group will work from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m., and the second group from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.

DeKalb has to recount more than 373,000 ballots by hand.

Elections Director Erica Hamilton said they are looking to finish the count in four or five days.

“We’re going to separate them into like, buckets. The different presidential candidates, a write-in bucket and a no-vote bucket,” Hamilton said. “And then we’re going to ask those to take them out of the bucket and do a hand count, as it’s going to be required by the state, and then tally them on a sheet. When we’re all done, it should come up to the same number.”

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DeKalb officials will set aside adjudicated ballots.

“Our review panel looked at those and made that determination,” Hamilton said. “We’re getting additional clearance from the state as to how to handle those.”

Hamilton said in her 15 years of handling elections, this will be her first hand recount. She said holding a recount before the state certifies votes by Nov. 20 is a first too.

“This election cycle has been highly unusual,” Hamilton said.

DeKalb County will use the Stonecrest City Hall for the recount, where the old Sam’s Club used to be.

Because of the recount, Hamilton said there will be no audit. The county plans to canvass tomorrow and send its final numbers to the Secretary of State tomorrow, before the recount starts on Friday.

Fulton County is still unsure about how they will do the by-hand recount. Fulton County Chairman Robb Pitts said he was shocked by the announcement.

“This came as a complete surprise to us, and right now, we’re just trying to make some sense of it,” Pitts said. “You know, where will we count? How many people? What’s the process? We don’t know anything.”

Pitts said they don’t even know if State Farm Arena will be available for election workers to use to hand-count every ballot, which in Fulton County totals nearly 600,000.

Fulton needs a big enough space to socially distance hundreds of elections workers needed for the job.

“The NBA now is, they’re about ready to play,” Pitts said. “The Hawks may be practicing.”

Fulton County could use the Georgia World Congress Center.