ROME, GA — More than 2,500 uncounted ballots from the Nov. 3 election in heavily Republican Floyd County were discovered over the weekend during Georgia’s state-mandated audit.
Elections officials blamed a scanner used for early voting that stopped working properly, according to The Rome News-Tribune.
The county’s GOP Luke Martin chairman told the Rome newspaper that the newly discovered ballots added 1,643 votes for President Donald Trump, 865 for President-elect Joe Biden and 16 for Jo Jorgenson. Board of Elections Chairman Tom Rees tentatively confirmed those numbers on Monday.
The uncounted ballots had been cast during early voting at the Floyd County Administration Building in Rome, where a replacement optical scanning machine apparently didn’t initially record the votes. The discrepancy between the number of voters and votes actually cast turned up during the audit.
“It’s very concerning,” Martin said to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But this doesn’t appear to be a widespread issue. I’m glad the audit revealed it, and it’s important that all votes are counted.”
“Elections veterans tell me it is not uncommon for human errors to come to light before certification or in recounts,” said Walter Jones, spokesperson for the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, to The Rome News-Tribune. “It is very rare for them to change the outcome.”
The newly discovered ballots definitely will not change the outcome in Georgia. Trump had already won Floyd County with 27,120 votes, according to the Secretary of State’s website. Biden received 10,972 votes and Jorgensen received 496.
Statewide, Biden edged out Trump by about 14,000 votes, with 2,472,050 votes for Biden and 2,457,895 votes for Trump. Even before Georgia’s totals had been announced, most media organizations called the race for Biden on Nov. 7. Georgia was called for Biden on Friday.
The Rome newspaper reported no similar issues in nearby Gordon, Chattooga and Bartow counties.