ATLANTA, Ga. (WALB) - Georgia’s Secretary of State’s Office (SOS) announced Wednesday evening that it has opened an investigation it how Coffee County handled the Nov. 2020 presidential election recount that was to be finalized on Dec. 2.
“All counties were to be completed by Wednesday night, Dec. 2, at midnight, as instructed by the Secretary of State. By Thursday, there were six counties finalizing their recount upload. On Thursday, Coffee County officials were working with the Secretary of State’s office and Dominion Voting Systems to resolve a discrepancy of 50 votes,” a press release from the Secretary of State’s Office.
According to the SOS, Coffee County was the only county that had not completed its recount upload. On the morning of Dec. 4, the SOS said it had received a letter from Coffee County’s Board of Election saying they were not going to certify their recount.
“State Elections Director Chris Harvey, called Coffee County’s elections director, Misty Martin. Mr. Harvey brought Deputy Director Blake Evans in on the call to discuss the situation. Ms. Martin said that the hand audit showed that they were off by one vote from the original count, but now, following the recount, Coffee County’s tally was off by 51 votes. Further, the county’s tally was showing two batch uploads of 50 ballots each. It became apparent that Ms. Martin was unsure whether she had scanned a batch of 50 ballots twice, which would account for the 50-vote discrepancy (Ms. Martin also noted that Coffee County had comingled their advance voting and Election Day ballots, adding further disorganization to the process). Again, though she could not say for certain that she had scanned the same batch of 50 ballots twice, that seemed a likely possibility,” the press release read.
The SOS said the letter from Coffee County blamed the voting system for the 51-vote discrepancy, however, officials did not specify what mechanical issues they encountered.
The Secretary of State’s office said it will investigate Coffee County for its recount procedures and ascertain if the case needs to be brought to the State Election Board for review and potential action.