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County's audit of votes in Georgia Senate runoff finds 5-vote difference

Mark Niesse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in News & Features

ATLANTA — One county’s audit of Georgia’s voting system found just a five-vote difference between machine and hand totals in this month’s U.S. Senate runoff election, according to findings released Thursday.

The manual review of 43,000 ballots cast in Bartow County should give voters confidence in the outcome of the race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican David Perdue, county Elections Supervisor Joseph Kirk said.

“We know every voter’s vote was accurately counted in Bartow County because we checked — one ballot at a time,” Kirk wrote in an audit report. “Now that every vote cast in the state is recorded on a paper ballot, we can give our communities certainty and confidence that their votes were accurately recorded.”

Kirk conducted his county’s audit the same way as a statewide review of the presidential election in November.

After the Senate runoffs, which Ossoff won across Georgia by 1.2%, Kirk decided to do another hand tally to counter “a mountain of misinformation” about the state’s election equipment manufactured by Dominion Voting Systems.

 

Twenty-four workers conducted the audit over nine and a half hours last week, at a cost to the county of about $3,000.

The audit found a total of 89 votes that were different from the original count, usually caused by human errors when sorting ballots into piles of 10 each. Because those votes were distributed among both candidates, the overall count was only five votes off from official results, with Ossoff losing four votes and Perdue gaining one.

The audit doesn’t change the official results in Bartow, a mostly Republican county northwest of Atlanta where Perdue received 32,239 votes to Ossoff’s 10,735.

©2021 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Visit at ajc.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.