Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) and the state’s top election official on Friday formally certified results, calling Democrat Joe Biden the race’s winner.
Secretary of State Brian Raffensperger certified results reported by Georgia’s 159 counties that placed Biden at 2.47 million votes to President Trump’s 2.46 million and Libertarian Jo Jorgensen’s 62,138. Those numbers make Biden the winner by a margin of 12,670 votes, or 0.25 percent.
Later on Friday, Kemp certified the Georgia slate of presidential electors, but notably did not endorse the results. Rather, he said the law requires him to “formalize the certification, which paves the way for the Trump campaign to pursue other legal options and a separate recount if they choose.”
The governor, who was secretary of state himself before being elected to his current office in 2018, was concerned that the audit looked only at ballots, not the signatures on the absentee ballot applications or absentee-ballot envelopes.
“As a former Secretary of State, he is the first to know and confirm that a signature is matched twice prior to an absentee ballot being counted,” Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs said in a statement.
This came after a hand recount narrowed the margin by about 800 votes, not enough to make a difference in the election.
“It’s quite honestly hard to believe that during the audit thousands of uncounted ballots were found weeks after a razor-thin outcome in a presidential election,” Kemp said. “This is simply unacceptable.”
Raffensperger, who has drawn the ire of many within his own party due to his handling of the election, expressed confidence on Friday in 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.”
With the results now certified, and because the margin is within 0.5 percent, the Trump campaign has two business days to request a recount, which would be performed using scanning machines that read and tally the votes and would be paid for by the counties.
Additionally, Raffensperger said he wants to propose legislative changes that would inspire more trust in the state’s election results, such as allowing state officials to intervene in counties that have systemic problems in administering elections, requiring photo ID for absentee voting and adding stricter controls to allow for challenges to voters who might not live where they say.
“These measures will improve the security of our elections, and that should lead to greater public trust,” he said.
The question is, why didn’t he push for these measures back when it actually could have made a difference?
Raffensperger has been very vocal about his management of the election, going as far as to accuse President Trump of having “suppressed” the Republican vote in the state.
“Twenty-four thousand people did not vote in the fall; either they did not vote absentee because they were told by the president ‘don’t vote absentee, it’s not secure,” the secretary of state said in an interview. “But then they did not come out and vote in person. He would have won by 10,000 votes. He actually depressed, suppressed his own voting base.”
The Trump team claims that targeted voter fraud in Democrat-controlled precincts swayed the election in Biden’s favor.
On Thursday, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and other members of the Trump legal team outlined how they say voter fraud occurred and their strategy for what they say is a path to victory for the president.
In that press conference, Giuliani said that Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are all likely to go to Trump once the facts are laid out.
“The recount being done in Georgia will tell us nothing,” Giuliani said, noting that the envelopes the fraudulent mail-in ballots came in had already been tossed out and therefore could not be considered valid. Just in Michigan, Trump’s team has well over 200 affidavits offering evidence of fraud under penalty of perjury.
The media may have long-since decided that Joe Biden is the next president of the United States, but the legal battle appears to be far from over.
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