Georgia’s secretary of state has announced that the state will conduct an audit of the 2020 presidential race, recounting by hand the millions of ballots cast in the state, where news networks stated Joe Biden was the winner.
Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, made the announcement on Wednesday November 11, after facing pressure from President Donald Trump’s campaign for a recount, plus calls from fellow Georgia Republicans to resign amid accusations of mismanaging the election process that saw Biden declared winner of the state.
“With the margin being so close, it will require a full by hand recount in each county,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, said at a news conference in Atlanta.
“This will help build confidence.”
“It will be an audit, a recount and a recanvas all at once,” he added.
Attention has turned to Georgia where both two high-stakes US Senate races is causing friction among Republicans in the state.
Earlier this week, the two GOP senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, fighting for reelection, demanded Raffensperger resign from office, accusing him without evidence of failing to “deliver honest and transparent elections.”
Biden currently leads Trump by more than 14,000 votes in the state a statistic Raffensperger previously said is “unlikely” to be overtaken in a recount.
Trump has not conceded in the race, instead he has made unfounded claims about widespread voter fraud and mail-in ballots.
The Georgia Republican Party, Trump’s campaign and US Rep. Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican who’s leading the Trump campaign’s recount efforts in the state, celebrated on Wednesday calling the decision of the Georgia secretary of state as a victory for “integrity” and “transparency.”
“This is an important first step in the process to ensure that the election was fair and that every legal vote was counted,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a call with reporters.
During Wednesday’s press conference, Raffensperger denied that the Trump campaign influenced the state’s decision.
“We’re doing this because it’s really what makes the most sense,” he said. “With the national significance of this race, and the closeness of this race, we have to run a statewide audit.”
Raffensperger said he expects the recount to be done in time for Georgia’s certification of the presidential results, which has a November 20 deadline.
Raffensperger said he hopes to start the recount before the week ends. So far, 97 of Georgia’s 159 counties have already certified their results, but all of the county certifications are still required by Friday, he said.
Raffensperger said once the results are certified on November 20, a candidate within the 0.5% margin will still be able to request a “recount,” but that it would be a “scanned recount” done by machines.