The state’s voting system manager, Gabriel Sterling called the incident "an amazing blunder."
In a recount of votes done in Georgia for the 2020 presidential race, more than 2,600 ballots were found in Floyd County that hadn't been tallied. The recount might help President Donald Trump reduce the shortfall of 14,000-vote from President-elect Joe Biden. According to Atlanta News Now, the President can gain at least 800 votes as 1,643 new votes were discovered for him and 865 for Biden.
The state’s voting system manager Gabriel Sterling, dubbing the incident "an amazing blunder", said that they're facing this hurdle because county election officials failed to upload votes from a memory card in the ballot-scanning machine. He noted, “It’s not an equipment issue. It’s a person not executing their job properly. This is the kind of situation that requires a change at the top of their management side."
Luke Martin, chairman of the Floyd County Republican Party, revealed that the uncounted votes had been cast during in-person early voting at the Floyd County Administration Building, as per Pittsburg Post-Gazette. The county's election office is a part of this building too. Martin further revealed that more than half of 5,000 printed-out ballots that were cast on an optical scanner were not recorded initially.
Martin said, “It’s very concerning, but this doesn’t appear to be a widespread issue. I’m glad the audit revealed it, and it’s important that all votes are counted.”
Noting the failure of proper counting of votes in Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said that the recounts held at other counties' closely match their original numbers. Chris Harvey, the State Elections Director said that before the results are finalized by Friday, November 20, all ballots will be rescanned and tabulated.
“You want every vote counted right the first time, but that is one of the goals of the audit: to identify problems,” said Harvey and added, “All the votes will be uploaded, and the results will be what they are.”
According to Marin, the recounting of the ballots will help in amending the discrepancy found between the total number of people who registered to vote early and the ballots that were counted in Floyd County. He added that the county election officers were supposed to rescan the ballot papers on the optical scanning machine which stopped working a few weeks before the voting, this created an issue as half of the votes weren't recorded.
Elections officials in Floyd County in northwest Georgia could not be contacted for a comment.
According to Global News, once the official tallying of votes is done, the losing campaign has the right to request a recounting of votes that is conducted using scanners. Raffensperger, a Republican was given the responsibility of selecting the race to be audited.
To him, a hand recount seemed necessary since there's a tight margin between the number of votes for each candidate. However, his office has stated that the results might vary only slightly from the one previously declared and so it's unlikely for the final outcome to change. The election officials said that the tally results from the audit would be the final one and certified.