By Raisa Habersham
As recounts are underway for the general election in Georgia, Fulton County’s re-tallied count could bleed into Monday.
The county has 13 scanners and 45 to 50 people staffing the machine recount, Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Robb Pitts said during a press conference Wednesday.
“This is a very transparent process, as you can see with observers and monitors, overseeing, looking over our shoulders, to make sure that everything is above and aboveboard,” Pitts said, adding that all eyes are on the county and Georgia it heads into a Senate runoff.
Fulton County elections chairman Richard Barron is aiming for the recount to conclude before Tuesday when the runoff election happens for the Congressional District 5 race and Senate District 39 race.
Barron said the county is expected to spend between $150,000 and $160,000 for the recount, less than what they paid for the risk-limiting audit that was hand-staffed by 400 people. The cost includes renting the space at the Georgia World Congress Center and security. In all, Barron expects the county will spend close to $400,000 for both counts.
The recounts have posed a slight strain on Fulton County officials who are managing early voting for two runoff elections next week, preparing for said races, and processing absentee ballots for the Jan. 5 runoff elections for Georgia’s Senate seats. The latter race has garnered national attention as it will determine if Republicans will retain control of the Senate.
“Some of the people that are here today have been taken away from the duties of entering applications, both for absentee by mail and for voter registration applications,” he said. “So, there is an effect on the office and that we have to shift resources for these recounts. We try to hire most people away, but there are just some things that we have to have our permanent staff perform and do the training on in order to make the process more efficient.”
Volunteers will count until 5 p.m. Wednesday and pick back up at 7 a.m Saturday. You can livestream the county’s recount live on its YouTube page.