By

Sommer Brokaw
Georgia residents stood in line as they waited to vote in Georgia during early voting for the general election late last month. File Photo by Tami Chappell/UPI

Georgia residents stood in line as they waited to vote in Georgia during early voting for the general election late last month. File Photo by Tami Chappell/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 14 (UPI) — Georgia’s first full day of a hand recount of ballots went “smoothly,” election officials said Saturday.

The hand recount, which Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced earlier this weekstarted at 9 a.m. Friday with a midnight deadline to finish Wednesday. President-Elect Joe Biden was within the .5% margin of President Donald Trump, triggering a recount under state law upon request.

 

The state has until Nov. 20 to certify the nearly 5 million ballots after completion of the recount in 159 counties, which Raffensberger has also called “an audit, a recount and a re-canvass all at once.”

On Saturday, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office said the first full day “went smoothly.”

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Dekalb County’s Voter Registration and Elections Department Director Erica Hamilton similarly said “everything seems to be going smoothly.”

The county has set up 75 teams of two to get through recount of 373,000 ballots by Wednesday.

Overall, monitors political parties designate will closely observe the recount process, a Georgia Secretary of State’s Office statement said, adding that the public and press also have a restricted viewing area.

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“Transparency is indispensable for ensuring confidence in the outcome of Georgia’s elections, which is why I have instructed county election officials to ensure political party monitors can watch every step of the way,” Raffensperger said in the statement.

The Trump campaign picked Rep. Doug Collins to lead the recount effort in Georgia.

Going into the recount, Biden had received 14,000 more votes than Trump, leading to projections that Biden will win Georgia’s 16 electoral votes.

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Prior to Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate has not won Georgia since President Bill Clinton won the state in 1992 with 13,714 more votes than George H.W. Bush.