Election officials have said a hand recount has turned up more than 5,000 votes in four counties that weren’t previously counted but won’t alter the overall outcome of the race, in which nearly 5 million votes were cast in the state. Officials have said the margin between Trump and Biden will be about 12,800 votes when those previously uncounted votes are accounted for.
When Georgia voters return an absentee ballot, they have to sign an oath on an outer envelope. County election office workers are required to ensure the signature matches the one on the absentee ballot application and the one in the voter registration system, Raffensperger has said.
“He asked if the absentee ballots could be matched back to the envelope,” Raffensperger told The Associated Press this week, of his conversation with Graham. “I thought that then Sen. Graham implied for us to audit the envelopes and throw out ballots of counties who had the highest frequency error rate of signatures, and I told him that’s something that we couldn’t do.”
Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop called the attorneys “longtime vocal critics” of both Graham and Trump, adding, “Their complaint should be viewed in that light.” Painter has called Graham “Putin’s favorite senator,” while Finkelstein said this week Trump “will likely be indicted” after leaving office.
Schaub, the former head of the federal Office of Government Ethics, complained in 2017 about Graham’s tweets that he said improperly promoted Trump International Golf Club.
When asked about the conversation with Raffensperger, Graham said Monday that he was “trying to find out how the signature stuff worked” and that Raffensperger “did a good job of explaining to me how they verify signatures.”
Asked about Raffensperger’s interpretation that he was suggesting legally cast ballots should be thrown out, Graham said, “That’s ridiculous.”
Trump -- who has made unfounded claims of widespread voting irregularities and fraud — and his campaign have repeatedly taken to social media to criticize Raffensperger and the way the state’s hand tally was being conducted. Once the hand tally is complete and the results certified, the losing campaign can request a recount, which would be done using scanners that read and tally the votes.
County election officials were instructed to complete the count by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. The deadline for the state to certify election results is Friday.
Kate Brumback in Atlanta contributed to this story.