Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) on Monday recertified the state’s election results, reaffirming Biden’s victory after a second statewide recount of presidential votes.
The presidential ballots in Georgia have now been counted three times. The latest recount, which was done at the request of the Trump campaign, entailed a rescan of ballots that had been hand-recounted by election officials.
Biden’s 12,670 lead in the state’s initially certified results was expected to slightly change, but not enough to alter the outcome of the vote.
The secretary of state’s office has repeatedly said that its investigators and the statewide audit of ballots have found no evidence of widespread fraud, rejecting attacks from the president and his allies who have fanned conspiracy theories and baseless claims about the integrity of the vote in Georgia.
“Continuing to make debunked claims of a stolen election is hurting our state,” Raffensperger said during a news conference Monday morning. “The president has his due process rights, and those are available to him. It’s time we all focus on the future and growth.”
Among the counties that reported a discrepancy in votes during the second recount was Fulton County, the state’s most populous, which saw a decrease of 852 ballots because of to an initial over-counting issue. That was roughly about two ballots per precinct, and nowhere near the number of ballots that would have affected the outcome of the election, Fulton County election officials said Friday during a special meeting certifying the results.
In a tweet following Raffensperger’s announcement, Trump again called on Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) to demand an audit of signatures on mail ballots, which the governor has previously said he has no power to do. Twitter slapped a label on the tweet, noting “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”
Biden’s narrow win over Trump led to a statewide hand audit of the results, which was a manual recount of roughly 5 million presidential ballots cast in Georgia. The audit affirmed Biden’s victory, and the results of the election were certified by Kemp last month.
Because Biden’s margin of victory was under 0.5 percent, Trump was eligible to request another recount of the results.
Now, Kemp is set to recertify the results, as required under Georgia state law. Georgia taxpayers are footing the bill for both recounts.
Trump has called on Kemp to call a special session of the state legislature to overturn the vote in his favor.
Kemp has rejected the request, saying it would be illegal for state lawmakers to undo the decision of voters. Kemp and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, also a Republican, said in a joint statement: “Any attempt by the legislature to retroactively change that process for the Nov. 3rd election would be unconstitutional and immediately enjoined by the courts, resulting in a long legal dispute and no short-term resolution.”
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