ATLANTA — Georgia’s top elections official on Friday certified election results showing Joe Biden won the presidential election after a hand tally stemming from a mandatory audit affirmed the Democrat’s lead over Republican President Donald Trump.
Friday morning, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger held a press conference to say his office would certify the results following the recount.
“Working as an engineer throughout my life, I live by the motto that numbers don’t lie,” Raffensperger said 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.”
The Georgia hand recount results were 2,475,141 votes for president-elect Joe Biden and 2,462,857 votes for President Trump. Biden's lead is about .25 percent of the vote. Georgia's 16 electoral college votes will go to Biden, given him a projected 306 votes, well above the 270 needed to become president.
"In certifying the results, the Secretary of State affirmed that all 159 counties have provided to the state the total votes tabulated for each state and federal candidate. Further, the Secretary of State affirms that the statewide consolidated returns for state and federal offices are a true and correct tabulation of the certified returns by this office from each county," the statement from Raffensperger's office earlier in the day Friday reads.
Now, Gov. Brian Kemp has until 5 p.m. Saturday to certify the state’s slate of presidential electors.
The Trump campaign has until next Tuesday evening, November 24, to request another recount of the results, which would be a re-scan of the ballots that were hand-recounted.
Raffensperger also said Friday morning he plans to propose election-law changes aimed at increasing trust in the results, by allowing state officials to intervene in counties that have systemic problems in administering elections, requiring photo ID for absentee voting and enabling more challenges to voters who might not live where they say.
State lawmakers would have to make these changes in state law.