Georgia audit triggers hand recount as Biden leads by 0.28 percentage points


ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia election officials have announced an audit of presidential election results that will trigger a full hand recount.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said at a news conference Wednesday that his office wants the process to begin by the end of the week and he expects it to take until Nov. 20, which is the certification deadline.

President-elect Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by about 14,000 votes out of nearly 5 million votes counted in the state. Nearly all ballots have been counted, though counties have until Friday to certify their results.

For the hand recount, election officers will work with the paper ballots in batches, dividing them into piles for each candidate. Then they will run the piles through machines to count the number of ballots for each candidate. The scanners will not read the data on the ballots.

After results from the hand recount are certified, the losing campaign can then request another recount, which will be performed by machine, Raffensperger said.

There is no mandatory recount law in Georgia, but state law provides that option to a trailing candidate if the margin is less than 0.5 percentage points. Biden’s lead stood at 0.28 percentage points as of Wednesday morning.

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