The recount in Georgia is finished, after workers examined five million ballots by hand, but President Trump still lags Joe Biden by 12,000 votes. Many of the figures barely budged: In 73% of Georgia’s 159 counties, the margin of the hand count varied from the original by 10 voters or fewer. In a quarter of counties, the two numbers exactly matched.
Across a few places, the audit turned up several thousand votes that had been overlooked. Fayette County neglected to upload a memory card, which left out 2,800 ballots. Floyd County found 2,600 ballots that hadn’t been re-scanned after a machine was replaced. The additions slightly narrowed Mr. Biden’s lead from a little above 14,000 last week.
America’s distributed elections are a source of resilience, since no central authority controls vote counting. The downside is the messiness of delegating the job, in Georgia’s case, to 159 local officials. But the errors don’t fit any conspiracy theory. Floyd County went 70% for Mr. Trump. Does anyone think a deeply red area intentionally forgot Republican votes? Floyd’s top voting official has now been fired, so at least shoddy elections have consequences.
The Trump legal team is dismissing the Georgia recount, but notice its retreat. “This so-called hand recount went exactly as we expected,” lawyer Jenna Ellis said, “because Georgia simply recounted all of the illegal ballots that had been included in the total.” Hang on: At a press conference hours earlier, attorney Sidney Powell alleged, without showing evidence, that Dominion voting machines “run an algorithm, that probably ran all over the country, to take a certain percentage of votes from President Trump and flip them to President Biden.”
What happened to that claim? A hand recount is a perfect way to test it, if you remember how Georgia’s voting machines work: Residents make their choices on a touch-screen. The system then prints a paper ballot, with a text summary showing the candidates selected, which provides the voter a chance to confirm.