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National News

Certification Pending to Declare Biden Winner in Georgia After Hand Recount

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Certification Pending to Declare Biden Winner in Georgia After Hand Recount

2020-11-20 16:37:04

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Joe Biden (Image source: Screenshot)

The days-long recount of the presidential votes in Georgia seems all for naught. It didn't make any difference at all. Biden still won but by a slightly smaller margin. The country is waiting on Friday for the state to certify the nearly 5 million votes.

Fifty-nine counties in Georgia reported their results, giving Biden a 12,284-vote lead over Donald Trump. Before the hand recount, he had a lead of around 14,000. This is precisely what election experts predicted  that recounts never change the margins by the number Trump needed to turn the state red and that he would still lose the state.

"Georgia's historic first statewide audit reaffirmed that the state's new secure paper ballot voting system accurately counted and reported results," said Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in a statement on Thursday.

"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. 

Initially, Biden was declared the projected winner in Georgia last week. It makes him the first Democrat to do so since 1992 when former President Bill Clinton carried the state.

Trump and his allies were critical of the projected win, as initially, the state was projected as a Trump win. But as the mail-in votes started coming in, Biden overtook Trump's lead and began leading himself, never looking back.

Based on Trump's criticisms, Raffensperger ordered a full hand recount. Trump's team has been claiming widespread voter fraud in the swing states where he lost. Raffensperger defended the integrity of the election in George and said he ordered the recount only to reassure voters that the projected Biden win was accurate.

While it was confirmed with the audit that there was no foul play, the recount did turn up more than 3,300 votes in three states that were stored on memory cards and had not been uploaded to the state's election computers. Floyd Count turned up 2,600 ballots that hadn't been counted. The Floyd County Board of Election voted unanimously to fire Robert Brady, its chief elections official.

But those lost votes just weren't enough to turn this thing around for Trump.

"You can recount these ballots in alphabetical order, by machine, by hand, by county starting with the second letter in order," remarked Biden campaign attorney Marc Elias. He said on a conference call on Wednesday, "They're going to count the same way."

On Friday, Raffensperger's office said he hadn't certified the results yet. But this was after a press release was issued stating the votes had already been certified.

"Numbers don't lie," he said in a news conference on Friday. "As Secretary of State, I believe that the numbers that we are presented today are correct." 

At 12:26 p.m., the secretary of state's office issued a press release stating the results had been certified. However, less than an hour later, the office sent another statement that said, "Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger today will certify the results for the November 3, 2020, General Election."

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