Officials: Georgia audit confirms secretary of state winner

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ATLANTA (TBEN) — A hand count of random party votes in the recent election for Secretary of State in Georgia has confirmed Republican Brad Raffensperger’s victory, state election officials said.

The audit — required by state law — revealed a small difference in votes from the number of votes used during the election, but the difference was well within the expected margin of error, the secretary of state’s office said Friday. familiar.

“This audit demonstrates that our system is working and that our county election officials conducted safe, accurate elections,” Raffensperger said in a statement.

The audit stems from a law passed in 2019, not concerns about the integrity of the state’s election results. An audit is required for general elections in even-numbered years on a race selected by the Secretary of State. It must be completed before the election results are certified.

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Raffensperger announced earlier this month that he chose his race for the audit. Raffensperger defeated Democratic House Representative Bee Nguyen.

In 2020, he chose the Georgia presidential contest between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden for the mitigation audit. Biden won that race by a narrow margin, prompting a manual count of all votes cast to confirm the accuracy of vote-counting scanners.

In risk mitigation audits, the narrower the margin between candidates in a race, the larger the sample of ballots to be audited initially.

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Trump, falsely claiming fraud cost him the 2020 election, targeted Raffensperger for failing to reverse his narrow loss in Georgia. In a now infamous January 2021 phone call, Trump suggested that Raffensperger could “find” enough votes to overturn Biden’s presidential victory.

Raffensperger defeated a Trump-backed primary challenger in this year’s election contest.

For this year’s check, election officials in Georgia organized a dice roll at the Capitol to help determine how many votes the counties should hand-count.

In all, county election officials reviewed 328 party ballots. More than 85 percent of the parties had no deviation from the candidates’ original vote totals. Of the remaining batches, all but one showed a discrepancy within an expected margin of error for a hand count, the secretary of state’s office said.

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The audit counted 156,832 votes for Raffensperger and 67,486 votes for Nguyen. A machine count of the same ballots had Raffensperger’s total votes at 156,811 and Nguyen’s total at 67,504.

Officials had said such a difference was expected due to human error during the hand-counting process.

State law requires 90% certainty that the outcome is correct, but Raffensperger said he raised that to 95%, meaning a 5% “risk limit.”

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