The vast majority of Cobb County’s nearly 400,000 ballots cast in the presidential election have all been recounted by hand, with only a few thousand to be reviewed in a slower process. Still, elections officials expect they’ll meet the state’s deadline of 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.
Cobb had a total of 396,551 ballots cast in the presidential race, which all have to be counted by hand, per the Georgia Secretary of State’s order to all of the state’s 159 counties.
About 5,000 were either provisional ballots or had to be duplicated because they couldn’t be read by a scanner, and those were reviewed by an adjudication panel on Election Day and a few days afterward — made up of one member from each of the two main political parties and an election worker. During the audit, they’re being inspected again by a similar “voter review panel,” with one Democrat, one Republican and at least one election worker.
The only remaining ballots to be counted are what’s left of these 5,000, Ross Cavitt, spokesman for Cobb County, said Tuesday. He did not give an exact number of remaining ballots, but said Cobb Elections Director Janine Eveler still expects to make the state’s deadline.
The bulk of the ballots were boxes of in-person and absentee votes that were sorted and hand-counted by about 80 election workers since Friday. These workers were split up into different teams to ensure people who know each other aren’t working together, and are mixed up into new groups every day, Eveler previously told the MDJ. In addition to being open to public observers, poll monitors from the state Democratic and Republican parties watched the process.
The Georgia Secretary of State’s office will certify the state results after all the county audits are complete and turned in. Cavitt said Cobb isn’t expected to have to recertify county results after the hand recount, although last week Eveler said the board would reconvene to do so.
County officials have not given an estimate of how much the audit will cost, though Cavitt said the elections director expects a grant from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to supporting local elections, will cover all the costs.