Georgia backtracks after prematurely certifying election result for Biden and says result will be confirmed later

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 (Independent)
(Independent)

Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Friday that Joe Biden won the state’s recount, and had been certified as the state’s victor.

The certification follows a hand recount requested by Donald Trump.

Though Mr Biden will be certified, that announcement should have been made after the official results are posted. At the time of the announcement, only unofficial results were available.

The stumble is purely procedural. It will not result in any significant change in the final vote tally.

Mr Raffensperger - a Republican - said that "numbers don't lie" during a press conference announcing the certification.

Mr Biden is projected to defeat Mr Trump in the state by 12,284 votes. There were also 62,587 votes for Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen.

Mr Raffensperger has faced calls for his resignation from other Republicans - most notably Georgia Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, both who face recount races against Democratic challengers in January - but has also faced death threats for his role in the recount.

In a statement reaffirming the basic concept of running a fair election, Mr Raffensperger said that though he is a supporter of Mr Trump, it is not his job to alter the results of the election.

"Working as an engineer throughout my life, I live by the motto that numbers don't lie," he said. "As secretary of state, I believe that the numbers that we have presented today are correct. The numbers reflect the verdict of the people, not a decision by the secretary of state's office or of courts or of either campaign."

He also acknowledged the erosion of the public's trust in the state's electoral system, due largely to unsubstantiated attacks from Mr Trump and other Republican leaders attempting to sway the election results.

"Close elections sow distrust; people feel their side was cheated," he said. "We saw this from the Democrats in 2018. We see this from Republicans today."

As a result, Mr Raffensperger said he is putting together a series of reforms to help rebuild the public's trust in the electoral system.

The same day that the certification

With Georgia's certification, the state's 16 electoral votes will be allocated to Mr Biden.

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