ATLANTA: President Donald Trump’s legal team said on Saturday (Nov 21) that his campaign has requested another 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 Governor 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 US 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.
“Without signature matching, this recount would be a sham and again allow for illegal votes to be counted,” the statement added. “If there is no signature matching, this would be as phony as the initial vote count and recount. Let’s stop giving the People false results. There must be a time when we stop counting illegal ballots. Hopefully it is coming soon.”
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 is not 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 criticised 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 were not previously 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.