A hand recount of the 2020 presidential election is complete
The Elbert County Clerk and Recorder’s office completed a hand recount of all 19,131 ballots accepted for the 2020 Presidential Election on May 17 and 18. A bipartisan team of four seasoned election judges along with Elections staff conducted the recount. The hand count found three discrepancies from the official results submitted in November 2020. All three discrepancies were attributable to human error. Two were election judge errors and one was a voter error where the ballot mark did not clearly identify their voting choice.
Elbert County Clerk and Recorder Dallas Schroeder stated, “I was pleased with the enthusiastic efforts by the election judges and staff to verify our official count from the 2020 presidential election. Our goal and desire is always to count every legally eligible ballot that we receive in an accurate way. The hand count showed we were 99.98% accurate and, while not perfect, that is pretty close.”
While tabulating ballots by hand is a tedious event, it would have been a much harder job without the electronically scanned results to compare with the hand tally sheets. The process involved comparing the official results with the hand-counted results. If the numbers did not match, the batches were examined again and, in every instance, the discovered error was in the hand tally, such as miss counting tic marks. Rhonda Braun, Elbert County Elections Manager, commented, “The fact that we showed zero tabulation errors in the recount is satisfying and that we experienced human error in the hand count shows how difficult a hand tally is, especially if there is nothing to compare the hand tally to.”
When asked why Elbert County decided to go the extra mile and do a hand recount, Clerk Schroeder said, “With all the questions and concerns that have surrounded the 2020 presidential results, I wanted to be able to look every citizen of Elbert County directly in the eye and tell them we did everything in our power to verify the reported results in Elbert County. Our staff and election judges work tirelessly to ensure our results are accurate. I am proud to report these results and verify that Elbert County does it right.”
Elbert County election staff conducted an election integrity presentation on May 20, 2021. A recording of this presentation can be found at https://elbertcounty.granicus.com/player/clip/56.