The Georgia election recount finished its hand recount on time Thursday night. According to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, results confirmed that Joe Biden won.
In a statement, Raffensberger said the hand recount upheld and reaffirmed the machine tally of votes. Shortly after the results, the Associated Press called Joe Biden as the winner of the state. Previously, the AP also called Biden the winner last November 7.
State law requires an audit of votes, independent of problems found in the voting system. At the same time, mandatory recount laws do not exist in Georgia. However, state law allows for a recount if the margin is less than 0.5%. Citing the close margin of 0.2% between Biden and Trump, Raffensperger announced the audit. This includes a hand recount that requires completion by Friday, November. Only then can the state certify the election results.
Raffensperger said: “Georgia's historic first statewide audit reaffirmed that the state's new secure paper ballot voting system accurately counted and reported results. This is a credit to the hard work of our county and local elections officials who moved quickly to undertake and complete such a momentous task in a short period of time.”
The recount, also known as a risk-limiting audit, aims to verify the contest's winner. Reporter Stephen Fowler said that four counties uncovered a few thousand previously uncounted votes. Afterward, officials added the votes to the candidates after verification.
The Georgia election recount covered all 5 million votes for President. The result added around 2,000 votes for Trump, narrowing his gap with frontrunner Biden. Prior to the recount, Biden started with a 14,000 vote lead. Afterward, he ended up still ahead by about 12,000. The four counties: Douglas, Walton, Fayette, and Floyd, experienced issues with uncounted votes. All attributed the mistake to human error. In the end, the total votes added were too insignificant to change the outcome.
Jaclyn Rothenberg, Biden’s communications director for Georgia, was jubilant. She said it was “what we already knew: Georgia voters selected Joe Biden to be their next president,” she said.
Rothenberg thanked local officials for the work. “We are grateful to the election officials, volunteers, and workers for working overtime and under unprecedented circumstances to complete this recount, as the utmost form of public service.”
Meanwhile, the Georgia election recount confirmed Trump’s and the Republican’s loss of a red state. The suburbs around Atlanta, plus the huge turnout of black voters, carried the Dems. But Trump didn’t take the loss sitting down. Until now, he continues to tweet allegations about voter fraud in the state. He made his objection known to the recount by calling it “fake.” Also, he tweeted mistaken claims about the state's signature-matching process.
Raffensperger himself came under fire from both Trump and the state GOP members. Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler called on him to resign. They continue alleging that he failed to “deliver honest and transparent elections.” Raffensperger defended himself by saying he's a “lifelong Republican” and “conservative Christian Republican.” At the same time, he insisted the state has “not seen widespread voter fraud.” He said: “I'm going to make sure we count every legal, lawful vote and we're not going to count any illegal votes. My record will stand on itself. We have done a great job,” he added.
The last stage in the recount takes it to the Governor’s office. Republican Governor Brian Kemp needs to sign the certification by Saturday, 5 pm EST. Then, the signed certification officially awards Georgia's 16 electors to Biden. Media reports said that Kemp was relatively quiet during the process. But, he did urge Raffensperger to investigate claims of fraud. Specifically, Kemp asked him to “take a serious look at any and all voting irregularity allegations.”
Meanwhile, Trump made mention of Kemp at least six times since November 4. He encouraged him to “get tough,” make the state “flip Republican,” and “take charge” of the audit. In others, the President blamed Kemp for the legal agreement on absentee ballots.
Watch this as CBS New York reports that Biden again declared a winner in Georgia:
For Donald Trump, Georgia has fallen. The official win is only a Governor’s final signature away. Should he move on to other states, or should he start accepting the inevitable? With the Georgia election recount completed, what should Trump do next? Let us know what you think Trump and the Republicans should do as the next step.
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