Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said an issue with ballot reporting in Fulton County has prompted a rescan of some ballots and the dispatch of a team of investigators to “secure the vote and protect all legal votes.”
Raffensperger, a Republican, did not provide details about the reporting issue or the number of ballots it relates to, but noted in a statement on Saturday that it pertained to ballot processing carried out on Friday, Nov. 6. He said officials at State Farm Arena would “rescan their work from Friday” and that the process would be subject to additional oversight and a probe.
“The secretary of state has a monitor onsite, has sent additional investigators, and dispatched the deputy secretary of state as well to oversee the process to make sure to thoroughly secure the vote and protect all legal votes,” Raffensperger said, adding that representatives from both political parties were also on hand to observe the process.
Brendan Keefe, investigative reporter at Atlanta’s WXIA 11Alive news, shared word of a “breaking development” in connection with the incident, suggesting it may “significantly affect the current Biden lead in Georgia.”
As of Sunday evening, former Vice President Joe Biden was leading President Donald Trump in Georgia by 10,353 votes. Raffensperger announced last Friday that the thin margin would likely mean a recount, with state law allowing candidates to request one if the spread between contenders is 0.5 percent or less.
On Sunday, the Trump campaign announced Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) would lead recount efforts in Georgia.
“Republicans stand by the ideal that every eligible voter should be able to vote legally and have it be counted,” Collins said. “During the coming recount, we are confident we will find evidence of improperly harvested ballots and other irregularities that will prove that President Trump won Georgia fairly again on his way to reelection as president. Georgians deserve a free and open process, and they will get one.”
Biden was declared by a number of media outlets as president-elect on Saturday after projected victories in Pennsylvania and Nevada put him over the 270 electoral vote threshold. Trump has alleged voter fraud and said any declarations of victory are premature, with his campaign announcing a raft of legal challenges.
“The simple fact is this election is far from over,” Trump said in a statement. “Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.”
“Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media,” Trump added.
Biden, in a statement, expressed confidence that his projected win in Georgia would ultimately be confirmed, saying, “We are going to be the first Democrats to win Georgia in 28 years.”
The former vice president has claimed victory in the presidential race, changing his Twitter handle to read “president-elect,” while many media outlets have begun referring to him as such.
Biden’s declaration of victory prompted pushback from Trump, who said in a statement: “We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: They don’t want the truth to be exposed.”
“The American people are entitled to an honest election: That means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots. This is the only way to ensure the public has full confidence in our election,” Trump said.