A recount will begin for Georgia’s 7th Congressional District at 10 a.m. Wednesday, the Secretary of State’s Office said Tuesday afternoon.
When the state certified its election results Saturday, incumbent U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville, led Democratic challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux by 419 votes, a 0.14 percent margin.
Candidates in races with margins of 1 percent or less are entitled to recounts if they request one from the state.
Bourdeaux requested the recount, specifically asking that elections officials count by hand paper absentee and provisional ballots that cannot be read by a scanner. At a Tuesday press conference, Bourdeaux said the absentee ballots’ design could inadvertently affect the way a machine would read votes for her. When those ballots are folded, she said, the crease runs right through where her name is printed.
The Secretary of State’s Office granted that request, ordering elections officials in Forsyth and Gwinnett counties, which each include parts of the 7th District, to “manually review by hand” ballots that may have stray marks, are folded or cannot be counted by a machine for any other reason, according to the notice sent by Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden.
Recounts are uncommon in congressional races and rarely change vote totals.
This year’s election is the closest of Woodall’s career. His margins of victory from 2010 to 2016 ranged from 20.8 percentage points to 34.2 percentage points.
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