Georgia counties begin by-hand presidential audit

Across the state, election workers began the arduous task Friday morning of recounting every ballot cast in the presidential race by hand.

"I think the biggest challenge is this is the first time that any of us have done this--not just Gwinnett, but any county in Georgia," said Joe Sorenson, communications director for Gwinnett County. "So, we really don't know what to expect, but what we've all learned is that we will adapt and we will figure out how to make this happen and get this to work."

Gwinnett County held a short training session with staff before beginning to count in earnest around 10 a.m.  The county started the process with 64 "audit boards," which are made up of two people each.

Working one batch of ballots at a time, both people on an audit board must confirm the presidential selection on each ballot before sorting it into a stack for either Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Joe Jorgensen or another candidate.

If an audit board cannot agree on a voter's choice, they set that ballot aside for a bi-partisan vote review panel to make a determination.

Once they are done with a batch, the audit board tallies up all the votes for each candidate and reseals the ballot box.

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Gwinnett County had more than 400,000 votes in the presidential race to recount. Cobb County had about 393,000.

Counties are solely responsible for performing and paying for the audit.

Cobb County Election Director Janine Eveler said they started with 25 audit boards Friday, but can increase that number if needed.

"It will take however many people it takes and it'll cost whatever it costs and that's what we have to do," said Eveler.

The Secretary of State's Office has set a deadline of midnight Wednesday for counties to submit their audit results.