Georgia’s first statewide risk-limiting audit has concluded, and the audit results confirm the outcome of the presidential election in Georgia: Joe Biden won.
The audit of almost 5 million ballots was the largest hand count in the country’s history. It uncovered some mistakes made by county poll workers during the initial tally, but also confirmed the election’s outcome.
State law allows the losing campaign to call for a further recount.
A record number of voters participated in the November 3rd election, breaking records for absentee ballots, in-person early voting, and election day voting.
On Tuesday, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced the results of a forensic audit of the new voting system, finding “no signs of cyber attacks or election hacking.”
County elections officials are currently administering December 1 runoff elections and preparing for the January 5 US Senate runoff elections.
Statement by Aunna Dennis, Executive Director of Common Cause Georgia
The results of Georgia’s presidential primary have now been confirmed by two audits: the forensic audit of the voting machines, and the statewide hand-count audit of individual ballots.
The forensic audit confirms that the audited machines were not tampered with, and that their software and firmware was the same software and firmware certified for use by the Office of the Secretary of State.
The hand-count audit made clear that the election outcome was not affected by the relatively few mistakes made by county elections workers. It’s important to keep those mistakes in perspective: humans make mistakes. That’s why Georgia has a risk-limiting audit process, to look for these types of mistakes and double-check that the election outcome is correct.
Joe Biden clearly won the election, here in Georgia; as many close observers expected he would. Georgia’s electorate is changing. Nearly two-thirds of the new voters since 2016 are people of color. Almost half of new voters are under age 35.
In our democracy, voters pick their elected officials — politicians don’t get to pick their voters.
Georgia’s voters have made their decision. It’s time to honor that decision.
It’s also time to ensure that our county elections officials have the resources they need to fulfill their responsibilities in the next two elections.
County elections offices were already stretched thin, even before the hand-count audit was announced. Common Cause Georgia has discussed critical resource needs with elections offices around the state. We have provided PPE to election offices that could not afford to purchase it.
We have not heard anything concrete from Secretary Raffensperger’s office regarding plans for the state to reimburse counties for the cost of the hand-count audit.
We don’t know how costs would be covered, if a recount is held after Georgia’s results are certified.
And we are now looking ahead to two more runoff elections.
Georgia’s voters deserve to have runoff elections that are well-run, safe and secure. We need these elections to be fully staffed and have sufficient polling places open, to avoid the long lines that made national news in June.
Last week, we urged Secretary Raffensperger’s office to provide the additional resources that are critically needed by county elections offices.
We are a week closer to those runoff elections — with no answer from the Secretary of State’s office.
Now that the audits of the last election are complete, we hope the Secretary will refocus on the upcoming elections — and ensure that county offices have the resources they need to administer them properly.