The vote: Bartow ‘risk audit’ of runoff ‘demonstrates that our voting system accurately counted the results’ of the election.

The vote: Bartow ‘risk audit’ of runoff ‘demonstrates that our voting system accurately counted the results’ of the election.


In context: On its own, the Bartow County Board of Elections and Voter Registration conducted an audit of the votes cast in the Perdue-Ossoff runoff election concluded on Jan. 5. The official outcome of that race:

  • David A. Perdue (I) (Rep) 32,239 votes or 75.02%
  • Jon Ossoff (Dem) 10,735 or 24.98% (Ossoff won statewide)
  • Total votes cast: 42,974

Media release: The Bartow County Board of Elections and Voter Registration is pleased to announce it successfully completed its voluntary audit of the Jan. 5, 2021 Runoff Election. The runoff between David Perdue and Jon Ossoff was randomly selected to be audited by the official monitors, and the auditing process teams of two auditors who counted every ballot by hand. The purpose of the audit was not to confirm the exact machine tallies but simply to prove that Bartow County did not declare the wrong winner.

Auditors are human and often make small mistakes during a hand count and as a result we expect to see a small margin of error.  Initial data shows that the overall margin of error was .01%.  Within a week we will release a report that goes into more detail as to where errors occurred as well as the tally sheets used during the audit on our website ( ).

The entire process was open to the public and was conducted under the observation of official monitors from both political parties.  The monitors were granted meaningful access to the process and were able to watch everything from the moment we arrived with the ballots, until we loaded them back onto the truck to return to our office.  We appreciate everyone who volunteered their time to observe this process.  They played a critical role and it would not have been an effective audit without them.

The audit was completed in one day with the overall cost at approximately $3,000.  We hope this helps restore trust in the election process in Bartow County.  The ballot that each voter cast in the runoff is a piece of paper that cannot be changed once it is cast.  The auditors looked at the same human readable text that the voters saw prior to scanning their ballot to cast their vote.  As such, the audit demonstrates that our voting system accurately counted the results of the January 5, 2021 Runoff Election.

  • On Tuesday, Floyd County’s election board certified its votes from the runoff, according to the Rome News-Tribune.



The Bartow County Board of Elections and Voter Registration has scheduled a Risk Limiting Audit of the Jan. 5 runoff at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, at the Beavers Drive Senior Center at 33 Beavers Drive in Cartersville.  The audit will continue from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. each day until complete, and we anticipate the audit concluding on Wednesday, Jan. 13, says Joseph Kirk, Bartow County Elections Supervisor

The purpose of the audit is to verify that the voting system counted the votes accurately during the runoff election.  We have no reason to think that the votes were not counted properly but hope that taking this additional step will promote public confidence in the accuracy of this and future elections.

The public will be allowed to observe from a public area as long as space permits, and monitors from each political party represented on the ballot will be allowed to observe from within the counting area.  Anyone in the counting area will have to comply with our security and COVID-19 procedures.

  • Bartow County cast 43,004 votes in the runoff with a turnout of 56.9 percent. Click results



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