Georgia governor certifies presidential electors for Biden
Atlanta, Nov 21: Georgia’s governor and top elections official on Friday certified results showing Joe Biden won the presidential race over Republican President Donald Trump.
The certification brings the state one step closer to wrapping up an election that has been fraught with unfounded accusations of fraud by Trump and his supporters. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger certified results reported by the state’s 159 counties following a meticulous hand count of the 5 million ballots cast in the race.
The results show Biden with 2.47 million votes, President Donald Trump with 2.46 million votes and Libertarian Jo Jorgensen with 62,138. That leaves Biden leading by a margin of 12,670 votes or 0.25%.
Later Friday, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp certified the state’s slate of 16 presidential electors, his spokesman Cody Hall said.
At a news conference, Kemp did not clearly endorse the results. Instead he stated that 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 Republican governor hasn’t stepped forward to defend the integrity of this year’s elections amid attacks by Trump and other members of his own party, who claim without evidence that the presidential vote in Georgia was tainted by fraud. Kemp has neither endorsed Trump’s fraud claims nor backed Raffensperger in his assertion that the election was conducted fairly.
The hand tally stemmed from an audit required by a new state law and wasn’t in response to any suspected problems with the state’s results or an official recount request.
The audit was meant to confirm that the voting machines correctly tabulated the votes.
“Working as an engineer throughout my life, I live by the motto that numbers don’t lie,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said during a news conference at the state Capitol. “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.” Raffensperger’s office stumbled earlier in the day when it prematurely announced the certification while it was still unfinished.
Forty minutes afterward, a corrected news release was sent out saying that the results would be released later.
The momentary slip was yet another moment of drama in a race that has been fraught with accusations. Biden is the first Democratic presidential nominee to carry the state since 1992. Now that the results are certified, Trump’s campaign will have two business days to request a recount since the margin is within 0.5%. (AP)