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Georgia poll watcher spotted nearly 10,000 tally error in Biden’s favor, later corrected

Georgia voting system implementation manager Gabriel Sterling described the incident as "a non-event, non-issue kinda thing."

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Stickers in Austin, Texas on November 3, 2020
Stickers in Austin, Texas on November 3, 2020
(Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)
Updated: November 18, 2020 - 7:02pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A poll watcher alleges seeing a sheet from a ballot box on Nov. 15th at the DeKalb County Board of Elections that indicated 9,626 too many votes for Biden.

The form indicated 10,707 votes for Joe Biden and only 13 for President Trump, but after the issue was highlighted, according to the observer, the recount revealed that the tally was only 1,081 for Biden and 13 for Trump. 

"I noted a sticker on the box which stated the following: Location — Elmwood; Scanner 2; Box 2 and 1,105," the poll watcher's affidavit says. "The recount total for the box was 1,103, two less than the box stated."  

Georgia voting system implementation manager Gabriel Sterling described the incident as "a non-event, non-issue kinda thing."

"This is what happens in an audit. This is why you don't release interim audit results because human beings are going to make mistakes in a hand-count audit," he said noting that the mistake was identified and corrected and would have been fixed even if the watcher had not highlighted the issue. 

Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer has tweeted about the issue. DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond issued a statement saying that he "immediately conducted a prelim. inquiry into the accuracy of his unsubstantiated tweet." 

"DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections officials have not verified the allegation in the tweet by Chairman Shafer, that a ‘vote error’ occurred during the state-mandated risk-limiting audit in DeKalb," the statement said. "Based on Chairman Shafer’s Twitter storm, the alleged 'vote error' was discovered, reported to DeKalb elections officials and corrected prior to the transmission of the official audit report to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. If the scenario occurred as Chairman Shafer alleges, this is evidence that the checks and balances, established by @GaSecofState Brad Raffensperger to ensure the accuracy of the election results, performed as designed."

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