In less than 48 hours, Georgia’s 159 election officers were given the Herculean task of conducting a 100 percent check – by hand Count ALL votes for the President on five million ballot papers across the state – in just six days.
The Georgian Foreign Minister has confirmed that the 100 percent handbook has confirmed that his voting system counted the votes correctly, and he has confirmed the official election results.
I worked as a consultant on a team for Voting Works, the company hired by the Georgian Foreign Minister to conduct the audit to manually reproduce the presidential votes for every five million ballot papers. We have been deployed in counties across the state to provide technical assistance with the examination process. I moved between three major Atlanta suburbs and three small rural counties.
Hundreds of tables with two-person review boards worked with virtually no errors. They separated the ballots into piles and then counted the votes cast in the presidential contest for Donald Trump, Joe Biden, a third-party candidate, and no votes by hand. The biggest challenge was entering data from 41. 881 batch reports nationwide in one table. We went through each county’s voting report to determine the inadvertent duplication of some ballot papers and to see where other stacks were originally missing from the data entry. All trials were watched by a swarm of Republican and Democratic observers.
It is always inspiring to see the dedication and relentless work of election officers and their staff. Several Georgia County election officers have had to grapple with COVID-19 infections and decimate staff during the critical period of preparation for elections.
On the fourth day of the exam, I traveled to a small county in southeast Georgia as no exam / recount numbers had been reported. The director, who has been in office for 35 years, had worked around the clock with a full-time employee and three temporary workers to manage a record-breaking number of voters. When I arrived I was told that they were almost finished with the handcount, but the principal didn’t have time to learn how to enter the ballot data. While I was helping her, she revealed the horror that her sister had been accidentally murdered in her town the night before the early voting period began. Through her shock and grief, she kept working, including handling an unprecedented deluge of postal voting requests.
With the examination deadline of the Georgian Foreign Minister of midnight Nov.. . 18 counties requested an extension until noon the next day. After working until 11 p.m. solving and settling ballot data entry issues in a large suburb of Atlanta, I was assigned to a medium-sized county an hour away.
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Upon arrival, the director desperately searched for about 500 ballot papers that she had counted on election night, but were temporarily ignored. My husband Austin, who accompanied me, calculated that 500 ballot papers would weigh about 8 pounds. He suggested we weigh the bags containing the ballot papers. After searching for a scale, a heavy one was found when weighing the ballot papers. The director opened this bag and found 598 ballot papers that had been counted but not yet checked on election night. Relieved, the director immediately convened an audit committee with a representative from the Republicans and Democrats to hand-count this batch.
The handcount results disprove the theory that the voting tabulation software changed or flipped votes from one presidential candidate to another. The slight discrepancy between the hand count and the original machine count was within the expected error rate of a hand count of five million voting slips. During the weeklong recount, four small counties discovered errors in their original numbers that resulted in 5. 800 previously not collected ballots were counted and the results of these counties were recertified.
Elections are a human endeavor and therefore never perfect. The results of Georgia’s unprecedented 100 percent audit should instill voter confidence that the vote counting process is honest and that the result is reliable.
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Ballot, Georgia, 2020 United States Senate Election in Georgia, Donald Trump, Atlanta, Election Officer
EbeneMagazine – CA – A behind-the-scenes look at the Georgia vote count