We’re 16 days out from Election Day. Here’s the news that you’ll want to know:
(1) Georgia recount uncovers “nearly 6,000 additional votes”; results expected today
Georgia recount uncovers “nearly 6,000 additional votes.” Results are expected today.
“‘The old system would let us know that we had a memory card that hadn’t been counted,’ said Darryl Hicks, chairman for the Fayette County elections board. ‘That would certainly be a good control to have in place. There are internal controls we need to have in place as well. We had opportunities to correct the problem.'” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
- The Georgia recount numbers are expected to be released today, with President Trump picking up votes so Joe Biden’s lead is down to 12,871 votes. The two Senate run-off races on January 5th won’t be affected.
- The state election results will be certified tomorrow, and either campaign may request another re-count after that since the margin is so close.
- As the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported, with the emphasis our own: “In all, the manual recount revealed nearly 6,000 additional votes in the presidential election. About 3,600 of them were for Trump and 2,200 were for Biden out of 5 million total votes cast.”
- The issues were reportedly county-specific clerical errors (that is, human errors) — rather than widespread issues and/or technical failures — including “memory cards that hadn’t been loaded into election computers” and failing to “rescan [ballots] after replacing an optical scanner that had a problem.”
- The Floyd County GOP Chairman said, about issues affecting his county,: “It’s very concerning. But this doesn’t appear to be a widespread issue. I’m glad the audit revealed it, and it’s important that all votes are counted.”
And for background:
- Last week, Georgia announced a by-hand recount of the presidential race. That’s because the state is very close: President Trump and Joe Biden were separated by approximately 14,000 votes out of nearly 5 million cast.
- County recounts have been overseen by poll monitors from both major parties, the press, and some members of the public.
- The recount is done and is scheduled to be released today. The deadline for the state to certify its election results is this Friday.
- Georgia awards 16 Electoral College votes.
Wisconsin recount “off to a rough start” after reportedly contentious 5-hour Wisconsin Election Commissions meeting.
“Wisconsin’s recount turned into a partisan brawl Wednesday night, well before the first votes began to be retallied. The three Republicans and three Democrats on the Wisconsin Elections Commission clashed repeatedly in a late-night virtual meeting as they tried to establish guidelines spelling out how clerks should conduct the recount during the coronavirus pandemic.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
- After a five-and-a-half-hour meeting — which the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel described as a “partisan brawl” — the Wisconsin Elections Commission did approve the recount but reportedly “deadlocked on some elements of it,” including the handling of absentee ballot applications.
- Yesterday the Trump campaign filed for a partial recount in Wisconsin in two counties: Milwaukee and Dane. Milwaukee is the largest county in the state; Dane is “home to the liberal capital city of Madison and the flagship University of Wisconsin campus.”
- The recount must be completed by Tuesday, December 1.
- The recount petition signed by President Trump (read it for yourself) said: “The Petitioners are informed and believe that mistakes and fraud were committed throughout the State of Wisconsin, including particularly in the City of Madison, the City of Milwaukee, and throughout Dane County and Milwaukee County in the counting and return of votes cast in the election for President of the United States.”
- The Trump campaign paid $3 million to the Wisconsin Elections Commission for the recount.For comparison, a recount for the entire state would cost $8 million.
- Right now, Joe Biden has a lead of just 20,608 votes in Wisconsin. The state awards 10 Electoral College votes.
Nancy Pelosi “reaffirms” she won’t run again for Speaker after next Congress.
“Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday reaffirmed a pledge she made to House Democrats two years ago that she would give up the gavel after the 117th Congress. Ahead of the 116th Congress, Pelosi cut a deal with a handful of members threatening to vote against her for speaker on the floor. To win their support, the California Democrat agreed to allow the caucus to vote on proposed term limits for the top three Democratic leaders and to abide by the proposal herself regardless of whether it was adopted.” (Roll Call)
- Speaker Pelosi won House Democrats’ support as their Speaker candidatefor the next Congress, which begins in January 2021, and she confirmed that she will respect the promise she made about term limits in the top leadership role.
- There have been reports of moderate Democrats considering a challenge to her. And, in 2019, 15 Democrats voted against her for Speaker.
- Given House Democrats’ slim majority (just single digits!), Speaker Pelosi needs to unite the House Democrats to keep her leadership role for her final term as Speaker. It seems likely that she will, but it’s not a sure thing until the vote in January when the new Congress begins.