Georgia’s manual recount continues Saturday as election workers conduct a review of nearly 5 million ballots to confirm the outcome of the presidential race.

The recount started at 9 a.m. Friday and will last until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. Joe Biden led Donald Trump by 14,000 votes as of Friday afternoon. Several news outlets on Friday declared Biden the state’s winner, making him the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia since 1992.

Georgia election recount: The timetable and how it is being done

In order to observe this historic undertaking, several of Georgia’s newspapers are collaborating to provide you with a statewide view. The Athens Banner-Herald, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Augusta Chronicle, The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, The Macon Telegraph and The Savannah Morning News will share their collective work with you until the recount is complete.

Find Sunday Nov. 15 updates here

5:25 p.m. Saturday

DeKalb County’s Saturday vote count to run until 11 p.m.

By J.D. Capelouto

Shortly before 5 p.m., a second army of election workers in DeKalb County began counting ballots.

On its first day of tallying ballots by hand for the state-mandated audit, DeKalb County completed counting its absentee mail-in and Election Day ballots, elections director Erica Hamilton said. Teams were still working Saturday afternoon recounting DeKalb’s early in-person ballots, and planned to continue until 11 p.m.

Hamilton did not provide specific figures on how many ballots had been counted but said the county’s predictions show they could be done by Monday evening.

“It’s been a smooth process,” she said. Counters planned to return at 7 a.m. Sunday. “We just want to make sure we have enough time to get it done.”

On Trump’s tweets about signature matches with ballots, which were flagged by Twitter as disputed, Hamilton said: “All those (signatures) were on the envelopes. … Those signatures have already been verified."

”We’re just focused right now," she said. “We don’t have any phones, so when y’all mention a tweet, that’s the first I’ve ever heard of it.”

4:41 p.m.

Gwinnett officials prepare for late night counting votes

By J. Scott Trubey

As it neared 5 p.m., county elections staff, poll workers and temporary employees staffing the recount effort in Gwinnett County since 8 a.m. prepared for a shift change.

Kristi Royston, the Gwinnett County elections supervisor, said the second shift would press on until 10 p.m.

Gwinnett officials started the manual recount Friday by opening 52 of 82 locked ballot boxes containing by-mail absentee ballots. Workers completed seven boxes Friday.

Royston said she expected workers would move faster on Saturday and that confidence proved correct. Workers seemed to gain speed after lunch.

“They can see the light at the bottom of those boxes,” Royston said. By late afternoon, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter counted about three dozen ballot boxes that were stored in an area for those that had been completely counted.

After completing absentee and provisional ballots, workers will move on to in-person early vote and Election Day ballots, officials said.

Joe Sorenson, a Gwinnett County spokesman, said it’s unclear how much the manual recount will cost taxpayers. County employees, temporary workers and poll workers are taking part in the recount. All will be paid for their labor.

Sorenson said it isn’t clear when they will finish, but all counties face a concrete deadline of 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

Gwinnett can add staff if needed, he said.

“If we have to turn up the gas, we will,” Sorenson said.

Gwinnett County has more 400,000 votes to count in total through this manual recount, including 124,605 absentee ballots, 217,636 early in-person ballots and 712 provisional ballots.

Royston said late Saturday afternoon that the county had encountered no issues for this unprecedented manual recount.

“Everything seems to be going smoothly,” she said. “It’s a lot of paper to go through and it takes a lot to get it done.”

Royston said the effort will begin again Sunday at 8 a.m.

4:29 p.m.

Fulton County estimates its recount will cost more than $200,000

By Johnny Edwards

The statewide hand recount of ballots cast in the presidential election will cost Fulton County taxpayers “in excess of $200,000,” the county’s election director said.

The operation at the Georgia World Congress Center – held in a massive room there to allow for spacing to prevent the spread of coronavirus – moved quickly Saturday. The state’s largest county is already more than halfway finished recounting ballots, elections head Rick Barron said.

All 148,000-plus absentee ballots have been counted, most of the early votes have been counted and teams have started on election day ballots, he said. There’s a chance the county could wrap up by the end of the day Sunday.

“I’m not going to guarantee it, but it looks promising,” Barron said

.Just after 3 p.m., counting teams who were at stopping points were told to go home and report back in the morning. Barron said he didn’t want any teams stopping in the middle of ballot bags, or being stuck working past 5 p.m., when counting is scheduled to stop today.

“We want to get people out of here,” he said.

4:14 p.m.

Small group of Biden supporters gathers at Piedmont Park

By Ernie Suggs

Fewer than a dozen people gathered at the edge of Piedmont Park to not only stress that Biden has won the election, but to encourage President Donald Trump to leave office now.

Chanting, “Trump-Pence! Out now," the tiny but loud group drew an occasional supporter and cars honking their horns, but most people just went about walking their dogs or jogging. There were more people across the street at an outdoor, socially distanced baby shower.

But that seems about right in terms of crowd size. The protesters were essentially supporting Biden, who had won and protesting Trump, who is leaving. Not much to be mad about.

But Tee Smith, one of the organizers through, said there is still a lot to be concerned about, especially with how Trump is still denying the results of the election.

Despite losing several court battles and trailing in the Electoral College and the popular vote, Trump has not conceded, and his administration has refused to offer Biden any transition assistance.

”This is a rolling coup," Smith said. “That is why we have to come out and demand that they leave now. They need to be stopped.”

4:06 p.m.

Protest outside Georgia Capitol attracted hundreds of Trump supporters

By Zachary Hansen

Hundreds gathered outside the Gold Dome in downtown Atlanta to continue the “Stop the Steal” protests, a pro-Donald Trump movement that claims the election was rigged against the president.

The crowd was supposed to gather around noon Saturday, and it quickly surpassed 200 protesters. The group took up most of the sidewalk in front of the Georgia State Capitol, while a few dozen counter protesters huddled on the other side of Washington Street.

The majority of the protesters waved MAGA signs and Trump flags, but a few QAnon and anti-vaxxer signs were among the crowd. Others made unsubstantiated claims that the security company for Georgia’s voting machines, Dominion Voting Systems, was behind a coordinated effort to delete Trump votes.

Some pro-Trump protesters wore masks, but just as many people scoffed at those wearing face coverings and mocked those trying to keep any form of social distancing.

However, one group that did wear face coverings received a warm welcome from the pro-Trump crowd — the “three-percenter” far-right militia group. Roughly a dozen people decked out in military gear and carrying assault-style rifles joined the crowd by 12:30 p.m.

Two members of the group spoke to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but neither would provide their full name. A man wearing a Confederate flag face covering said he drove about 30 minutes to participate in the rally, adding that he would gladly go to other cities if his “commanding officer” ordered him to do so.

Reid, a 23-year-old mechanic from Kennesaw, said he joined the militia group after learning of it from word of mouth.

“They’re painted as a hate group, but they’re actually great people,” he said. “You come to the realization that the three-percenters … are made up of every race, creed and color. You want to talk about a racist organization, talk about Antifa or BLM (Black Lives Matter).”

With a novelty Donald Trump 2020 dollar bill tucked into the front pocket of his father’s military vest, Reid said he wanted to provide “extra security” for Trump supporters, who were questioning the legitimacy of Georgia’s vote count.

There wasn’t much love for Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger among the crowd, with many signs denouncing the two as RINOs (Republicans in name only). At one point, a man with a megaphone repeatedly yelled the phone number to Raffensperger’s office, encouraging people to flood it with calls.

None seemed to have any faith that the ongoing hand recount was legitimate, and many saying they’d take to the streets every weekend until Trump was claimed the victor.

Several Georgia Republicans, including QAnon-believer Marjorie Taylor Greene and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, have appeared at “Stop the Steal” rallies since Election Day. However, no big-name speakers appeared outside the Capitol on Saturday afternoon. The crowd dwindled to only a few dozen by 2:30 p.m.

4:00 p.m.

Trump supporters hold rally in Savannah

By Savannah Morning News

Chanting “STOP THE STEAL!” repeatedly, about 70 supporters of President Donald Trump held a rally in front of the Chatham Board of Elections annex where a state-mandated hand recount of the county’s presidential ballots was continuing on Saturday.

Numerous pickup trucks adorned with Trump flags and a “TRUMP GIRLS” recreational vehicle were parked in front of the recount facility, which is housed within a warehouse on Savannah’s Mall Terrace.

The rally began at 11 a.m. Saturday as Trump supporters of all ages listened to speakers bellowing into a bullhorn. Many participants hoisted signs with messages including “America is watching,” “We deserve a free and fair election” and “If we let them steal this one, we will never have another fair one!”

During the Saturday rally, the gathered Trump supporters — including one wearing an elaborate Wonder Woman costume with a Trump flag sewn into the interior of her cape — vocalized suspicions that nefarious operatives had conspired to throw the election to Biden, and prayed for the Chatham election workers to uncover evidence of voter fraud that would contribute to Trump reclaiming the presidency for a second term.

Inside, Chatham Elections Assistant Supervisor Lynn Trabue — who was overseeing Saturday’s recount efforts — said that the rally caused no disruption to her department’s operations.

“I didn’t even know they were out there,” Trabue said.

- Nick Robertson, Savannah Morning News

2:55 p.m.

Richmond and Columbia counties continue recount

By The Augusta Chronicle

The manual recount of presidential votes continued in Richmond and Columbia counties Saturday as poll workers gathered to hand-count over 160,000 ballots between the two counties.

In Columbia County, 14 audit boards consisting of two poll workers each tallied the votes of 80,973 ballots. Friday’s recount had two monitors walking around the room at the former Euchee Creek Library while Saturday’s had five or six, according to Columbia County Board of Elections executive director Nancy Gay.

Gay said she hoped to have the county’s tally completed by Monday with the possibility of workers coming in Sunday to make sure that goal is accomplished.

“We’re just going to see how today goes and go from there,” she said. “I really do want to thank our workers. Without them it really would not have been possible. They stepped in and stepped up.”

Richmond County poll workers gathered at the Bell Auditorium to perform its audit of 87,530 ballots.

Lynn Bailey, executive director of the Richmond County, said once the manual tally is complete, the numbers from each batch of votes is entered into a software application that reads the tally and is compared to the original tally performed by a machine.

“The difference between what we counted by machine and what we counted manually can’t be less than a 10% difference or the audit is failed,” she said. “So we’re trying to be very deliberate as we go through this process to make sure our work is correct on our end.”

Similar to Columbia County, Richmond also had monitors surveying the auditorium to watch the tabulation among the 41 tables.

- Amanda King, Augusta Chronicle

2:44 p.m.

Gwinnett’s Saturday vote count to run until 10 p.m.

By J. Scott Trubey

It’ll be a late night for vote counting, said Kristi Royston, Gwinnett County elections supervisor.

“We’ll be going to 10,” she said. “We finished up at 8 last night, but tonight it’ll be 10.”

The recount appears to be moving faster Saturday than on Friday.

“They can see the light at the bottom of those boxes,” Royston said.

2:31 p.m.

Cobb officials to assess if more workers needed to meet deadline

By Shaddi Abusaid

In Marietta, 40 teams of two continued the tedious process of hand-counting ballots as observers from both parties closely watched from behind yellow caution tape.

Some of the observers recorded the action on phones and cameras while others scribbled furiously in small notebooks.

Nearly 400,000 Cobb County residents voted in the Nov. 3 election, and about 115,000 of those ballots were recounted Friday.

Workers returned to Jim R. Miller Park at 8 a.m. Saturday and plan to stay until about 6 p.m., Cobb Elections Director Janine Eveler said.

Eveler wasn’t sure how many more votes had been tallied as of 2:30 p.m., but said she plans to assess where they are after Saturday’s recount and decide if additional workers are needed to get through the remaining stacks of ballots by Wednesday.

Cobb elections director Janine Eveler, right, speaks with observers in Marietta during the recount on Nov. 14, 2020. Credit: Shaddi Abusaid

Credit: Shaddi Abusaid

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Credit: Shaddi Abusaid

1:13 p.m.

Gwinnett County officials re-open secure ballot boxes after lunch break

By J. Scott Trubey

Gwinnett County elections officials re-opened the secured ballot boxes to resume counting after a lunch break.

Gwinnett County elections officials are re-opening the secured ballot boxes and counting is about to resume. Credit: J. Scott Trubey / AJC

Credit: J. Scott Trubey / AJC

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Credit: J. Scott Trubey / AJC

Zip ties that had secured the ballot boxes during lunch are cut and discarded for counting to resume.

In the Gwinnett County elections office, zip ties that had secured the ballot boxes during lunch are cut discarded as counting is set to resume for the recount. Credit: J. Scott Trubey

Credit: Credit: J. Scott Trubey

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Credit: Credit: J. Scott Trubey

12:44 p.m.

Protesters gather at Georgia Capitol

By Zachary Hansen

Supporters of President Donald Trump gathered at the state Capitol at noon Saturday.

Organizers said the event was to spotlight concerns that this year’s presidential election wasn’t projected as a Trump victory. A group of counterprotesters were across the street.

Trump supporters gather Nov. 14 for a "Stop the Steal" protest at the Georgia State Capitol. Credit: Zachary Hansen

Credit: Zachary Hansen

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Credit: Zachary Hansen

Trump supporters protesting the results of the election gather at Georgia State Capitol. Credit: Zachary Hansen

Credit: Zachary Hansen

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Credit: Zachary Hansen

By around 2:30 p.m., the crowd at the Capitol had thinned out.

Elsewhere, supporters of President Donald Trump converged in Washington, D.C. near the White House to protest election results. Trump delighted the crowd of supporters with a motorcade drive-by through downtown Washington on the way to his Virginia golf club, the Associated Press reported.

12:30 p.m.

First day of recount went ‘smoothly,’ elections officials say

By Mark Niesse

The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office said Saturday that the first full day of manual counting in the statewide audit “went smoothly.”

More than 1.1 million ballots were hand counted across the state Friday, which constitutes about 20% of total ballots, according to officials. About 50 of Georgia’s 159 counties completed their work yesterday.

“As with any new process there were some questions and we are aware of some errors made by individual counties,” state elections officials said Saturday in an update. “We are aware of one county who mistakenly thought they could hand sort and then use machines to then count the sorted stacks. That is incorrect and not allowed in this process. They will have to recount those batches by hand.”

11:43 a.m.

Raffensperger addresses ‘misinformation’ on signature checks

AJC Staff

The office of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger released information Saturday aimed at addressing “misinformation that has circulated in social media” regarding Georgia’s process of verifying signatures on absentee ballots.

The explanation stopped short of calling out President Donald Trump, who continues to urge Georgia to recheck signatures on absentee ballots against their envelopes, despite the fact that signature matching is impossible during recounts.

Paper requests for absentee ballots must be signed by the voter, and the signature is compared to the one on file with the state. A consistent signature, not an exact match, greenlights the application for approval, according to the secretary of state’s office.

Voters who use the online portal to request an absentee ballot must verify their identity with their driver’s license number and date of birth, and a signature is not needed. All absentee ballots must be signed by the voter before they can be returned to their county election’s office.

Unless the ballot was requested online, elections officials said the first step in counting an absentee vote is to compare the signature on the ballot application to the one on the ballot itself. Missing or inconsistent signatures require the ballot to be cured, which means the voter must provide a signature and a copy of their identification in order to be counted.

11:41 a.m.

Fulton elections chief explains signature verification process

By Johnny Edwards

After President Trump tried to drum up uncertainty about the validity of Georgia’s absentee ballots in a tweet Saturday morning, Fulton County elections Director Rick Barron explained during a news conference how his office verified the signatures on ballot applications as legitimate.

Signatures on application envelopes were matched either against signatures on file with the Department of Driver Services or with signatures on original voter registration applications, he said.

“That whole process took place starting a few weeks before the election,” Barron said.

Trump and his supporters have suggested that Georgia’s audit process should include re-verifying the signatures, but at this point the envelopes have already been separated from ballots. So any attempt to re-check signatures wouldn’t have any impact on the recount.

More than 1.3 million absentee ballots were accepted statewide.

11:37 a.m.

Cobb County resumes recount with more teams

By Shaddi Abusaid

In Cobb, 40 teams of two continued the process of recounting the county’s 396,551 ballots at 8 a.m., Elections Director Janine Eveler said.

The votes are being tallied at Jim R. Miller Park in Marietta ahead of Wednesday evening’s deadline. On Friday, teams managed to recount about 115,000 votes, but there are more people working today, county officials said.

Eveler isn’t sure exactly how long it may take to recount the remaining ballots or how much the process could end up costing the county.

“We’ve never done this before so we have nothing to plan from,” she said Saturday morning.

The county’s elections board certified the results of the Nov. 3 races on Friday. For the second time in four years, most Cobb voters cast their ballots for the Democratic presidential candidate.

President-elect Joe Biden got more than 56% of the vote in Cobb, receiving 221,846 votes compared to President Donald Trump’s 165,459, or 42%.

Cobb Democrats also had down-ballot success in countywide races, flipping seats held by a Republican sheriff, district attorney and county commission chair.

10:46 a.m.

Fulton County tries to speed counting efforts

By Johnny Edwards

After a slow start to the day, county elections Director Rick Barron said he currently has 145 teams of two recounting ballots inside Area B1 of the Georgia World Congress Center. He said more tables are being added and he eventually he wants to have 174 teams operating.

“According to the math that we received from the Secretary of State’s Office, they said 248 two-person teams would get through this in eight hours,” he said. “We’re trying to be done by Monday. The more teams we get, of course, the quicker it’s going to be.”

Fulton County’s 528,000 ballots cast for president account for about 10.5% of the state’s entire tally. Counting began early today, after training and administering oaths to auditors and monitors slowed the process down some, Barron said.

The elections director said all absentee by-mail ballots have already been taken off pallets, and the last remaining boxes will soon be put on tables for counting. Ballots are being organized into piles for Joe Biden, Donald Trump and Jo Jorgensen, and write-in/undetermined votes go in envelopes, he said.

All mail-in ballots should be counted by early afternoon, Barron said. Work will continue until 5 p.m., then resumes Sunday at 7 a.m.

Monitors from the Atlanta-based Carter Center are watching Fulton County’s recount, too, as well as the state Democratic and Republican parties. While the media and the public have been roped off in a space on the far end of the massive room inside the Georgia World Congress Center, monitors are free to peruse among the counting tables.

Elections Director Rick Barron said he can’t say how many ballots have been counted so far today, because the information is only being fed into a software program operated by the Secretary of State as batches are completed.

“If you need to know where we are at in the process, how many we’ve counted, the Secretary of State has that number,” he said. “We aren’t keeping track of that number here.”

10:06 a.m.

Gwinnett says it can ‘turn up the gas’ on recount staffing if needed

By J. Scott Trubey

Joe Sorenson, a Gwinnett County spokesman, said many of those counting at the elections building in Lawrenceville were here Friday. Those counting today will probably work until about 5 p.m., before being relieved by more personnel.

Gwinnett County has more 400,000 votes to count in total through this manual recount, including 124,605 absentee ballots, 217,636 early in-person ballots and 712 provisional ballots. On Friday, county officials started counting ballots inside the first 52 of 82 large black ballot boxes. The county finished seven of them on Friday, but they expect to make much more progress today.

So far this morning, more than three dozen teams of two are making their way through absentee ballots.

Sorenson said it’s unclear how much the manual recount will cost taxpayers. County employees, temporary workers and poll workers are taking part in the recount. All will be paid for their labor.

It isn’t clear when they will finish, Sorenson said, but all counties face a concrete deadline of 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. Gwinnett can add staff if need be, he said

“If we have to turn up the gas, we will,” he said.

An recount observers monitors the count Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, at the Gwinnett County elections building in Lawrenceville.


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9:52 a.m.

DeKalb County kicks off election audit operations

By J.D. Capelouto

DeKalb County’s audit operation kicked off Saturday morning in a massive building that used to house a Sam’s Club in Stonecrest. Seventy-five teams of two were fanned out at tables throughout the room.

“So far, so good,” Erica Hamilton, the director of DeKalb’s Voter Registration and Elections department, said around 9 a.m. “Everything seems to be going smoothly.”

DeKalb has a total of 373,000 ballots to count. Hamilton isn’t making any estimates or guesses on how many they will get through today – or when they might finish – but the county plans to meet the state’s deadline of Wednesday.

Teams of counters are set to work until 3 p.m., until another shift comes in to count ballots until 11 p.m.

“It’s an exciting process,” Hamilton said. “It’s something new to the state of Georgia. It’s something new to the county of DeKalb.”

9:29 a.m.

Trump continues calls to recheck ballot signatures

By Mark Niesse

President Donald Trump took to Twitter again Saturday morning to urge Georgia to recheck absentee ballot signatures during the state’s manual recount.

Trump first suggested the recheck of signatures Friday night, hours after several media outlets projected Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia. He suggested again the state “expose real signatures,” echoing comments made by Atlanta attorney Lin Wood in a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court.

AJC IN-DEPTH: Trump supporter sues Georgia in attempt to stop election results

The lawsuit takes issue with a settlement this spring between Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the Democratic Party of Georgia, which requires election workers to consult with two of their peers before rejecting absentee ballots because of possible mismatched signatures.

Trump’s tweet erroneously mentions a consent decree approved by Gov. Brian Kemp, but no such decree exists, and he wasn’t involved in the settlement.

Signature matching is impossible during recounts because ballot envelopes can’t be traced back to ballots once they’re opened. Ballot secrecy is protected by state and federal election laws.

Election officials reported they had rejected 1,876 absentee ballots across Georgia through Thursday because of mismatched or missing signatures, according to state election data.

9 a.m.

Gwinnett resumes recount of absentee ballots

By J. Scott Trubey

The manual recount resumed in Gwinnett County about 8 a.m. Saturday at the elections building in Lawrenceville. Gwinnett County Elections Supervisor Kristi Royston said the count will continue today until at least 8 p.m. and could go as late as 10 p.m.

Gwinnett County elections workers count absentee by mail ballots Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, at the county elections building in Lawrenceville.


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Gwinnett started its counting with absentee by mail ballots and will complete those before starting on provisional ballots and concluding the count in the days ahead with early in-person and Election Day ballots.

"We think (the hand recount of) the Election Day and advance ballots will be quicker,” Royston said.

Absentee and provisional ballots in Gwinnett are longer than other counties because Gwinnett must print these ballots in English and Spanish, Royston said, which makes counting these a little slower. Joe Sorenson, a county spokesman, said Friday’s counting went smoothly and things so far Saturday have progressed well.

An elections worker brings a batch of absentee by mail ballots to be counted on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, at the Gwinnett County elections building in Lawrenceville.


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In addition to observers from the Republican and Democratic parties and media, elections observers from the Atlanta-based Carter Center are here in Gwinnett County to help ensure the manual recount continues uninterrupted. The Carter Center monitors elections across the world and has done so in 39 countries, according to its website.

8:27 a.m.

Ballot counting begins in Fulton County

By Johnny Edwards

Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts has sworn in hundreds of auditors and monitors who will be involved in a massive recount of 528,000 votes cast by the state’s largest county in the presidential election.

Before the count began, workers watched a training video in shifts, and others waited at their designated tables to be given ballot boxes. Though everyone in the expansive, high-ceilinged room inside the Georgia World Congress Center is required to wear masks, social distancing has been a struggle as workers waited in line to get through the door, then sat together at tables for training and swearing in.

Fulton County's manual recount of ballots began Saturday morning at the Georgia World Congress Center.


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Pitts has been giving workers pep talks, thanking them in advance for their service.

“Unfortunate circumstances in the 2020 election have brought us to this point, but as a result of your work today, I’m confident, once again, that Fulton County, Georgia, will continue to shine,” Pitts said. “I’ve been involved in audits, recounts, etc., throughout my political career, and I do not anticipate any significant changes as a result of your work today."

Fulton County elections Director Rick Barron said they will work in 130 teams of two, and he expects the work to take two and a half days. About 300 county employees, poll workers and volunteers are involved in Fulton’s recount, part of a statewide audit ordered by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

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