ATLANTA — A recount in Georgia’s presidential race found more than 2,600 ballots in Floyd County that hadn’t originally been tallied, likely helping President Donald Trump reduce his 14,000-vote deficit to Joe Biden.
Trump could gain about 800 net votes from the newly discovered ballots, said Luke Martin, chairman of the Floyd County Republican Party.
The problem occurred because county election officials didn’t upload votes from a memory card in a ballot scanning machine, according to the secretary of state’s office.
The previously uncounted votes were cast during in-person early voting at the Floyd County Administration Building, which includes the county’s elections office, Martin said. Over half of 5,000 printed-out ballots cast on an optical scanner weren’t initially recorded.
“It’s very concerning,” Martin said. “But this doesn’t appear to be a widespread issue. I’m glad the audit revealed it, and it’s important that all votes are counted.”
The uncounted ballots in Floyd County is the most significant issue found so far during Georgia’s recount. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has said that other counties’ recounted figures closely match their original numbers.
State Elections Director Chris Harvey said the ballots will be rescanned and tabulated before results are finalized Friday.
“You want every vote counted right the first time, but that is one of the goals of the audit: to identify problems,” Harvey said. “All the votes will be uploaded, and the results will be what they are.”
Elections officials in Floyd County in northwest Georgia didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Martin said these ballots could rectify a discrepancy between the number of people who checked in to vote early and ballots that were counted in Floyd County.
The issue appeared to occur on an optical scanner that stopped working after a couple of weeks of early voting, Martin said. County election officials were supposed to rescan all paper ballots cast on that machine, but roughly half of them weren’t recorded.
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