Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has repeatedly said paper ballots will give Georgia voters “a physical recount.”
But under a proposed elections rule, the only physical part of the recount would occur when poll workers feed ballots into the machines.
The rule calls for recounts to be conducted by ballot scanning machines that read votes encoded in bar codes. Election officials won’t review the ballot text to check the accuracy of vote totals until the state develops auditing rules.
Election integrity organizations say recounts of paper ballots should be done by hand to help ensure that the printed text matches votes tabulated from the bar code.
“You have to have a manual process to confirm a computerized process,” said Marian K. Schneider, the president of Verified Voting, a nonpartisan organization that promotes accurate and verifiable elections. “The best way is to do a hand recount that can look at the human-readable text on the paper output.”