Georgia to hand-count votes in statewide presidential election audit
ATLANTA - Georgia's Secretary of State says that the state will do a full recount of votes by hand in the state's presidential election results.
Speaking at the Georgia Capitol, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he is also moving the special election that was originally scheduled for December to the same date as the Senate runoffs.
These moves would protect the integrity of the election, make for better election administration, and save taxpayers millions of dollars, Raffensperger said.
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"It will be a heavy lift, but we will work with the counties to get this done in time for the state certification," he said.
As of Wednesday, 97 of Georgia's 159 counties had submitted their final vote numbers, with President-elect Joe Biden currently up by 14,111 votes to President Donald Trump.
"Every legal vote will count," Raffensperger said. "We will continue to enforce the law."
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Trump's campaign had pushed for a hand-count in a letter sent to the Secretary of State's Office on Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, who was tapped to lead Trump's recount effort in the state.
"We will be counting every single piece of paper, every single ballot, every single lawfully cast ballot," Raffensberger said.
If after the hand-count and the certification Trump and Biden are still within .5% of each other in vote totals, the Trump campaign could ask for a second recount, but it would be done electronically.
The secretary of state had previously defended the integrity of the election and his work amid calls from U.S. Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue for him to step down.
Speaking to FOX 5 on Tuesday, Raffensberger said that his office had not found any widespread voter fraud in the state.
The Secretary of State's Office will conduct a full audit, as required by Georgia law. He says it will be near on the deadline of November 20 before he certifies the results.
Georgia is one front in a nationwide scramble by the Trump campaign to question his loss in multiple states after multiple news organizations including FOX News and the Associated Press declared Biden the victor Saturday when he surpassed the 270 electoral vote threshold with victories in Pennsylvania and Nevada. The race in Georgia, with its 16 electoral votes, has not yet been called.
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