U.S. Election: Trump campaign requests recount of Georgia’s ballots

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U.S. election: Georgia governor says state law requires governor's office to formalize certification of election

U.S. President Donald Trump’s legal team said Saturday that his campaign has requested a recount of votes in the Georgia presidential race after results showed Democrat Joe Biden winning the state.

Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Friday certified the state’s election results, which had Biden beating Trump by 12,670 votes out of about 5 million cast, or 0.25 per cent. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp then certified the state’s slate of 16 presidential electors.

The statement from Trump’s legal team said: “Today, the Trump campaign filed a petition for recount in Georgia. We are focused on ensuring that every aspect of Georgia State Law and the U.S. Constitution are followed so that every legal vote is counted. President Trump and his campaign continue to insist on an honest recount in Georgia, which has to include signature matching and other vital safeguards.”

On Friday, in certifying the results, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp also brought up concerns about signatures. But Raffensperger has reiterated confidence in the results, and in a Saturday opinion piece in the Washington Post he said: “Georgia’s voting system has never been more secure or trustworthy.”

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And in fact, the signatures on absentee ballot applications and envelopes are required to be checked when they are received.

Georgia law allows a candidate to request a recount if the margin is less than 0.5 per cent. The recount would be done using scanners that read and tabulate the votes. County election workers have already done a complete hand recount of all the votes cast in the presidential race. But that stemmed from a mandatory audit requirement and isn’t considered an official recount under the law.

State law requires that one race be audited by hand to ensure that the machines counted the ballots accurately, and Raffensperger selected the presidential race. Because of the tight margin in that race, a full hand count of ballots was necessary to complete the audit, he said.

Trump has criticized the audit, calling it a “joke” in a tweet that claimed without evidence that “thousands of fraudulent votes have been found.” Twitter has flagged the post as containing disputed information.

Votes that hadn’t previously been counted were found in several counties during the audit, which required recertification of the election results in those counties before state certification of the results.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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