Georgia election officials investigate problems with Coffee County recount

Published: Dec. 10, 2020 at 12:12 PM EST
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ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - State election officials are investigating Coffee County’s handling of the recount of votes from last month’s presidential race.

The recount results were due on the night of Dec. 2. But on the next day, Coffee County officials were still working with the Secretary of State’s Office and Dominion Voting Systems to resolve a discrepancy of 50 votes.

On Dec. 4, the county was the only one that had not completed its upload of results. Coffee County’s Board of Elections said it was not going to certify the recount, according to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office.

The county’s elections director, Misty Martin, told state officials an earlier hand-recount audit showed totals were off by one vote from the original count. But the later machine recount showed a discrepancy of 51 votes.

Raffensperger’s office said it became apparent that Martin was unsure whether she had scanned a batch of 50 ballots twice, which would account for the 50-vote discrepancy. Martin also noted that Coffee County had commingled ballots from advance voting and the day of the election.

Coffee County officials blamed the voting system for the 51-vote discrepancy, but Martin could not specify what machine problems were encountered, according to Raffensperger’s office.

His office told Martin she had to resolve the recount and, and if necessary, recertify and upload the recount results. She said she instead wanted to use her election night results, according to Raffensperger’s office.

After saying she would rescan some ballots to resolve the issue, she could not be reached for progress reports.

The state officials said they ultimately learned the Coffee County Board of Elections had told Martin to “go home” and the work would start again after the weekend.

After being contacted Monday and told that the recount had to be completed immediately, it was done, according to Raffensperger’s office.

The office will investigate Coffee County for the recount procedures and ascertain whether the case needs to be brought to the Georgia Election Board for review and potential action, Raffensperger’s office said.

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