Georgia: Voluntary audit of US Senate run-off election results planned in Bartow County | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoffs weren’t as close as the contentious presidential election, but one county is planning a full audit of every ballot to verify the results. Bartow County Elections Supervisor Joseph Kirk announced Friday that election workers will manually recount the county’s 43,000 ballots cast in the runoffs, checking the accuracy of machine counts. “The whole reason we have these paper ballots is to confirm that we counted properly,” Kirk said. “This is a key step in promoting public confidence. Whether the results are close or not, we should always be working toward that.” There’s no reason to doubt that the Dominion Voting Systems election equipment, which uses touchscreens to print out paper ballots, counted votes accurately, Kirk said. But a human review will provide another check on the process. Unlike after the presidential election, a statewide audit of every ballot isn’t planned by the secretary of state’s office. Hand recounts and machine counts in November both confirmed that Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump by about 12,000 votes in Georgia, a 0.24% margin. In the Senate runoffs, as of Friday, Democrat Jon Ossoff led Republican David Perdue by nearly 1%, and Democrat Raphael Warnock was ahead of Republican Kelly Loeffler by almost 2%.