Counties can start the machine recount at 9 a.m., Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting systems implementation manager, told reporters during a virtual press conference on Monday.
Counties have a deadline of 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 2 to complete the recount, which follows a hand audit that uncovered four batches of uncounted ballots.
Those batches cut Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s lead over Trump by about 1,400 to slightly over 12,000 votes.
The Thanksgiving holiday makes it hard to finish the recount quickly, according to officials.
Sterling said officials hoped the audit would quell concerns.
“When we did the hand audit, the hope was that common sense would prevail and they would say, ‘OK we’ve seen now the machines counted properly and we won’t do that,’” said Sterling, who works for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican.
Trump’s legal team said the new recount was requested to ensure “that every aspect of Georgia State Law and the U.S. Constitution are followed so that every legal vote is counted.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference in Atlanta, Ga., on Nov. 13, 2020. (Brynn Anderson/AP Photo)
Workers were given guidance on how to conduct the recount, with representatives from Dominion Voting Systems helping walk staff through possible issues, Sterling said. Machines will be used per state law. Workers will process about 50 ballots a minute if the machines are run efficiently.
“Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. You don’t want to rush yourself and cause mistakes and errors you have to go back and fix,” Sterling said.
Notice will be given so that monitors from each party can observe the recount.
Officials are creating a web page that will show the results of the recount as they come in from each county. State officials may upload the results twice a day, though a final decision has not been made.
Sterling said the results of the election will probably not change during the third time votes are counted.
“We don’t expect it to change, but you never know for certain,” he said.