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DeKalb County completes second recount of Nov. 3 results, could certify on Dec. 4

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DeKalb County completes second recount of Nov. 3 results, could certify on Dec. 4

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Todd Ellington, who said he voted early watches election returns at The Imperial in Decatur after the polls had closed on Tuesday evening Nov. 3, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.
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DeKalb County, GA — The DeKalb County Department of Voter Registration and Elections has finished the state-mandated recount of votes cast in the Nov. 3 election and may recertify those results on Friday.

The county announced it had finished the recount on Dec. 2, the day of the deadline for completing it.

“Utilizing nine high-capacity scanners over the course of a week, DeKalb VRE coordinated with county departments and staff to prepare more than 373,000 ballots for the recount,” the county announced.

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This would be the second recount of votes cast in the presidential election. There was also a statewide hand recount and audit of the Nov. 3 election that showed President-elect Joe Biden won the state by more than 12,000 votes.

“I continue to be amazed by the work of our staff members and County leaders who have taken time away from families and worked through the weekend and across holidays to get us over the finish line in good fashion,” DeKalb VRE Director Erica Hamilton said in a press release. “Our team continues to operate with transparency, accuracy and integrity as our guiding principles. Despite the long hours, DeKalb VRE has once again met the challenge and reassured each and every voter of the process.”

The county had to conduct the recount in a large venue to provide enough space for social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic as well as provide space for the public to view the recount. The county also live-streamed the recount.

The Dec. 4 meeting to recertify the results will be live-streamed as well. Here’s the full announcement for that meeting, which includes details for public comment:

The DeKalb Board of Registration and Elections will hold a Special Called Meeting on Friday, Dec. 4, at 9:30 a.m. for the purpose of considering re-certification of the results of the election held on November 3, 2020. This meeting will be conducted via teleconference (Zoom). Simultaneous public access to the meeting will be available via livestream on DCTV’s UStream channel: https://video.ibm.com/channel/dctv-channel-23

Public comment may be submitted by sending an email of one page or less to [email protected] which must be received between 9:30 AM and 10 a.m. on the day of the meeting. The body of your email must include your first and last name, followed by your address.  Abusive, profane, or derogatory language will not be permitted.  By submitting an email for public comment, you agree to have your name, address, and the email broadcast on the UStream and entered into the record and minutes. The DeKalb Board of Registration and Elections reserves the right, at the DeKalb Board of Registration and Elections’ sole discretion, to (1) add your email to the record/minutes without reading any of it into the broadcast or (2) read all or a portion of your email into the record/minutes.

DeKalb County has shifted its focus to the upcoming Jan. 5 runoffs. The runoffs feature two senate races and a race for public service commission. The senate races will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate in 2021.

“DeKalb has been in the national spotlight and has represented the county very well,” said Hamilton. “We know all eyes will be on Georgia and we will be prepared for possible record-breaking runoff participation.”

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Early voting in the senate runoff begins Dec. 14 and the voter registration deadline for that runoff is Dec. 7. To register to vote, click here. If you’ve already received your absentee ballot, you can drop it off now at an approved dropbox. To see a list of dropboxes, click here.

To obtain your absentee ballot application, click here. Absentee Ballot Applications can be emailed to [email protected] If you need another way to contact the Dekalb County Chief Registrar to give them your ballot application, visit this page and select “Dekalb” from the drop-down menu.

Important tips for requesting and filling out absentee ballots:

– If you are mailing or emailing an absentee ballot application, the signature on your absentee ballot application must match the one the county has on file for you or your application will be rejected. So use your actual signature, not the generic signature option provided via the PDF reader software you might be using.

– It is important to read all of the instructions prior to filling out and submitting your absentee ballot. Read them carefully.

– Ballots should be filled out using a black or blue ink pin. DO NOT use a pencil or a sharpie. Also, fill out the ovals completely. Do not make check marks or use Xs. 

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