Election 2020 Georgia

A Cobb County election official handles ballots during an audit Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, in Marietta, Ga.

(The Center Square) – Georgia officials discovered a misplaced memory card of more than 2,700 votes in Fayette County on Tuesday, drawing President Donald Trump closer to presumptive president-elect Joe Biden.

The 2,755 votes that were recovered Tuesday by the county elections department were scanned but not reported to the elections reporting system.

Georgia's voting system implementation manager Gabriel Sterling said Trump gained 449 votes on Biden with the new batch of ballots, narrowing his deficit margin to 12,929 votes.

Tuesday's finding was the second this week in Georgia. Officials discovered a batch of more than 2,600 uncounted early voting ballots in Floyd County on Monday, which produced a 778 net pickup for Trump.

Both counties will have to recertify their results by the state deadline.

Sterling said the state's voting equipment has three options that would have helped election workers prescreen for the potential issue.

"So there were several spots where the human beings were running this didn't follow the procedure, and that's why this happens," Sterling said. "This is why you have the audit to discover these things now."

Walton County also is trying to track down a missing memory card with 224 votes.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 57 of Georgia's 159 counties completed the hand recount with the same number of votes that was initially reported in the elections system. Another 21 counties are off by one vote, Sterling said. He believes all counties are on track to meet the 11:59 p.m. Wednesday deadline. Floyd County should complete its rescan of about 8,000 early votes by Tuesday evening, Sterling predicted.

By Tuesday afternoon, county election offices counted about 4.8 million of the nearly 5 million votes cast by Georgians in the presidential election, Sterling said.

Trump called the state's recount meaningless Monday, citing a legal agreement Raffensperger's office settled with Georgia Democrats over ballot rejection for signatures on absentee ballots. Attorney Lin Wood has sued Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the election board to stop the certification process.

Sterling said Tuesday the recount would verify the certified numbers and not change the election results. The secretary of state's office must certify the election by Friday. Sterling said they would publish the recount numbers once the process is complete.

Staff Reporter

Nyamekye Daniel has been a journalist for four years. She was the managing editor for the South Florida Media Network and a staff writer for The Miami Times. Daniel's work has also appeared in the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and The New York Times.