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Georgia Closes In On Post-Election Hand Audit Deadline

ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) -- The deadline for the state's ballot audit is midnight tonight. Earlier today, the Secretary of State's office gave an update on where they stand and more issues the audit found.

As of 4 p.m., election officials reported more than five million ballots had been counted during the hand audit, leaving a margin of 12,781 votes in the presidential race between projected winner Joe Biden and President Donald Trump. There were still tens of thousands of ballots left to count before the deadline.

"We still consider ourselves to be on a good pace right now for completing the audit in the scheduled time we have set, which is midnight tonight," said Statewide Voting System Implementation Manager Gabriel Sterling. He addressed social media posts from fellow Republicans condemning some of the issues uncovered. "What they found was the process going through the whole process. This is why we don't give out interim audit results, because it can be misleading," Sterling said.

He confirmed roughly 2,700 new votes were not scanned in Floyd County, and memory card issues in Douglas, Walton and Fayette Counties uncovered several thousand more uncounted votes. "They should have done reconciliation better, and that's obviously a process we're gonna have to look strongly into now," he said.

He also addressed President Trump's Twitter post calling the Georgia recount a joke. "We're gonna continue to follow the law, and we're gonna continue to follow the processes, and the irony of this is in the fraudulent votes that have been found, he has gained in the finding of those votes, so the system is working as it's intended," said Sterling.

"These people are operating under the highest level of stress in the most contentious election in their work life in the United States and in Georgia," said Sterling, regarding the election workers. "For the most part, they are doing a really good job."

All eyes are still focusing on Georgia during the audit process, and Sterling says have the right to question process. He says the state is still on target to certify the election results on Friday.

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