Georgia ballot audit expected to be complete by Wednesday night, election official says

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, in Atlanta. Georgia election officials have announced an audit of presidential election results that will trigger a full hand recount. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

ATLANTA (NewsNation Now) — A Georgia election official said Tuesday morning that the hand tally of ballots cast in the presidential race would be complete by Wednesday evening.

“We feel like we’re on a good path,” said Gabriel Sterling with Georgia’s Secretary of State Office. “The audit is on pace.”

Sterling said the by-hand recount is so the state can move to certify its election results. Once certified, the losing campaign can request a recount, which would be done using scanners that read and tally the votes. The AP has not declared a winner in Georgia, where Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by 0.3 percentage points.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger did not attend Tuesday morning’s news conference. Trump and his allies have criticized Raffensperger, saying that mismanagement and fraud tainted the state’s presidential election.

Over the weekend, Trump posted on social media that Raffensperger is “a so-called Republican (RINO),” an acronym for “Republican in name only.” Raffensperger disputed Trump’s claims that he made it easier for Democrats to cheat using mail-in ballots. On Monday, Raffensperger told The Washington Post that he believed South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was pressuring him to improperly discard ballots. Graham dismissed the allegation as “ridiculous.”

Sterling said he joined a portion of the phone call between Raffensperger and Graham, saying that he only heard discussions about absentee ballots.

“I am not going to get into Senator Graham’s mind and I am not going to get into the Secretary’s mind,” Sterling said.

On Monday, Georgia state officials called on the Floyd County elections manager to step down after it was announced that 2,600 ballots were not uploaded to the state’s computer system on election night.

The ballots were not uploaded due to a human error rather than an equipment error, Sterling said. The ballots changed the margin by about 800 ballots toward President Donald Trump, slightly reducing Biden’s lead in the state from just over 14,100 to approximately 13,300.

NewsNation’s Brain Entin will have the latest from Georgia Tuesday night on NewsNation on WGN America. Find your WGN America channel here.

The Associated Press and Nexstar DC Bureau reporter Kellie Meyer contributed to this report.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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