The law requires that one race be audited by hand to check that the machines counted the ballots accurately. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger chose to audit the presidential race and said the tight margin, with Democrat Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump by 14,072 votes—means a full hand count is needed.
Gabriel Sterling, Georgia's voting system implementation manager, told a press conference on Nov. 12 that the hand recount is a normal part of the risk-limiting audit and its objective is to "instill confidence" in the accuracy of electronic voting machines and, more broadly, the election.
"Right now, there's a swath of voters in the state and around the country that will say those machines cheated, those machines miscounted, somebody hacked them, something happened, because there's no way that that guy won, there's no way that guy lost," Sterling said, adding, "that is the reason we've chosen to do this audit in this time, in this way."
The audit is a new requirement that was included in a 2019 law that also provided guidelines that the state used to purchase a new election system from Dominion Voting Systems for more than $100 million.