The mandatory statewide recount of votes from the Nov. 3 General Election revealed a card from the Fayette County Library with 2,760 votes that had not been pulled and counted. Once the recount was complete and an investigation by Fayette County Elections Director Floyd Jones was concluded, the recount with all votes now tallied showed Donald Trump with a net gain of 449 votes.
Votes tallied after election night in Fayette County, and before the recount, showed Trump with 35,653 votes and Joe Biden with 30,789 votes.
Explaining what had occurred during the recount process, County Administrator Steve Rapson in a Nov. 17 letter to commissioners said, “As you’re aware, Georgia’s Secretary of State mandated that election officials conduct a recount by hand of all ballots cast in the presidential race. Fayette County has undergone this hand recount and the results, along with a detailed explanation for the variance, is reflected below.”
Rapson noted that the Secretary of State is conducting an investigation and the Elections Board has requested that any questions concerning these results be sent to the Election Chairman Daryl Hicks for comment.
The statement of facts as presented in Rapson’s letter included:
- During Early Voting for the November 2020 Election, the Peachtree City Library discovered Dominion scanners stop accepting ballots once 10,000 ballots are scanned through them. On Oct. 27 the scanner at the Fayette County Public Library showed that it was nearing 10,000 scanned ballots.
- In an effort to continue with uninterrupted voting, the County Registrar requested the Dominion Technician to make sure the scanner at the library would continue without stopping or slowing the election. The Dominion Technician removed a memory card from the Fayette County Library’s scanner and replaced it with a new memory card. The removed memory card was then taken by the Dominion Technician to the Fayette County Elections Office. The new memory card remained in the scanner located at the Fayette County Library.
- The Fayette County Elections Director was not aware of this change of cards and he was not aware that a fifth card was now in use.
- On Election night, the Fayette County Elections Director was provided four memory cards from the four early voting locations: Fayetteville Library, Fayette Elections Office, Tyrone Town Hall and Peachtree City Library. Each location would have one memory card. All four memory cards were uploaded into the Elections Management System (EMS) and totaled. The memory card that was totaled from the Fayette Library was the first card with 9,625 votes on it.
- The new card with 2,760 votes was not pulled and counted. It remained in the scanner from the Fayette County Library and it remained sealed. From the standpoint of the Elections Director, all four cards had been pulled and the results calculated.
- There was a discrepancy in the ENet calculation and Dominion, but it was at first believed to be based on the numbers of cancelled ballots in Fayette and a belief those numbers were contributing to the offset of the ENet count.
- Simultaneously, the Elections Office prepared a manifest of ballots cast and, subsequently, began an audit of all the ballots in accordance to the state-ordered hand recount.
- The audit agreed with ENet numbers- indicating there was a miscount from the memory cards — specifically in regard to the Early In-Person voting numbers.
- The Elections Director conducted a deeper look into the discrepancy in numbers and learned during his investigation that a fifth card had been put into use, had recorded votes, and had not been calculated.
- The fifth card was then entered into the EMS system and calculated resulting in no further discrepancy from Dominion, ENet and the hand recount.
- This resulted in a net gain of 449 votes for Donald Trump.