Georgia secretary of state certifies that Biden beat Trump: 'Numbers don't lie'

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Georgia’s secretary of state certified Friday that Joe Biden won the state’s 2020 presidential election after a hand recount showed virtually no change in his margin of victory over President Trump.

The recount in Georgia, which was triggered by a mandatory audit of the results, showed Biden won by more than 12,000 votes, collecting 2,475,141 to Trump's 2,462,857.

“Numbers don’t lie,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said during a news conference in Atlanta before formally certifying Biden’s victory. “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.”

Brad Raffensperger
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaking in Atlanta on Friday. (Brynn Anderson/AP)

After the audit concluded on Thursday, the Associated Press officially called Georgia and its 16 electoral votes for Biden, giving him 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232 — the same margin of Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

“The recount process simply reaffirmed what we already knew: Georgia voters selected Joe Biden to be their next president,” Jaclyn Rothenberg, Georgia communications director for the Biden campaign, said in a statement. “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.”

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp now has until 5 p.m. ET Saturday to sign off on the state’s slate of presidential electors. The Trump campaign has until Tuesday to request a machine recount. (There is no mandatory recount law in Georgia, but state law does allow for a campaign to request one if the margin is less than 0.5 percent. It currently stands at 0.2 percent.)

Election workers
Election workers in Lawrenceville, Ga., on Monday. (Megan Varner/Getty Images)

With dwindling legal options to prove unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud, Trump and his allies have shifted from court challenges to pressuring Republican state legislators in a bid to overturn the election results. The president summoned two state lawmakers from Michigan to meet with him at the White House on Friday afternoon.

On Twitter Wednesday, Trump protested the Georgia recount and called on Kemp to intervene. Kemp has so far given no indication he plans to do so.

Cover photo: Andrew Harnik/AP


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