Georgia is expected to announce the result of its vote recount on Nov. 19. This comes as Joe Biden is leading with a razor-thin margin—less than 0.3 percent, and the Trump campaign is trying to block the state from certifying its election results, alleging voter fraud.
Georgia election officials expect to release a report Thursday on a hand tally of the presidential race.
However, Garland Favorito, a co-founder of an election integrity watchdog group, says he doesn’t really trust Georgia’s recount. Mainly because the state used ARLO, an auditing software that he alleges as fatally flawed.
“And that program forces the county elections directors to put their information into the secretary of state system, rather than their own system. So what that means is that the Secretary of State is going to tell the county what their results are, instead of the county telling the secretary of state with what their results are,” said Favorito.
Favorito has been doing election integrity work for almost two decades for the Voters Organized for Trusted Election Results in Georgia. He’s also an election monitor for the hand recount.
He said usually an audit is a bottom-up process. The counties hand count the ballots, and then report their totals to the state.
“This one is going to go from the state to the county, they will tell the counties what their audit results are. And that’s a totally compromised way to conduct any kind of audit,” said Favorito.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. He ordered the hand recount amidst allegations of voter fraud and mismanagement and has refused calls for him to step down.
Garland Favorito said what he saw on Nov. 5 adds to his distrust of the state’s vote tally.
“When I was reviewing the interim results in Fulton County, I noticed that Joe Biden’s numbers went up 20,000 votes, but Donald Trump’s numbers appear to have decreased 2,000. And that’s just not realistic. There’s something that seems to be fundamentally wrong there,” said Favorito.
He explains poll workers upload vote counts into the system every few hours, and real-time updates are available on the secretary of state’s website. He said he was alarmed by a disparity in numbers.
“It’s not unusual, for any chance vote to go up 20,000. What’s unusual is if the opponents vote at the same time, don’t go up at all, or in this case, appear to even have gone down. That’s what’s unusual,” said Favorito.
It is the disparity that is what’s unusual which raises questions that need to be investigated.
Favorito alerted Fulton County’s election officials, but no one has gotten back to him so far.
Georgia is set to certify its election result on Nov. 20.