President Donald Trump’s campaign has asked for a recount of votes in the Georgia presidential race. The request came a day after state officials certified the results, showing that Democrat Joe Biden won the state. With a margin below the legal recount threshold, the election tallying begins again.
Georgia’s results show that Mr. Biden won by 12,670 votes out of about five million cast. That’s just about one quarter of one percent! State law allows a candidate to request a recount if the margin is anything less than one half of one percent.
Officials from President Trump’s campaign sent a hand-delivered letter to the Georgia secretary of state’s office. The campaign team requested the recount in an election that has been fraught with allegations of fraud by some of the president’s supporters.
A Trump legal team statement says, “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, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp also brought up concerns about signatures. But Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has repeated confidence in the results. He says, “Georgia’s voting system has never been more secure or trustworthy.” He also says that signatures on absentee and mail-in ballots were carefully checked according to election rules.
Still, Raffensperger began notifying county election directors to prepare for a recount due to the tiny margin by which Mr. Biden won. Officials will also inform political parties to muster observers at the various recount sites.
“This will be highly scrutinized, so emphasize to the counties the importance of transparency and accuracy of the process,” Raffensperger told an aide.
The recount will use scanners to read and tabulate votes. County election workers have already done a complete hand recount of all the votes cast in the presidential race. But that isn’t considered an official recount.
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 says.
President Trump has criticized the audit, calling it a “joke.” He claims that “thousands of fraudulent votes have been found.”
At this point, there is no evidence of such votes. However, during the audit, officials did find some ballots not previously counted at all in several counties. The find was credited to human error, and those votes were included in the recount. They did not change the election’s outcome.
Like it or not, Americans must now wait while the legal process plays out in Georgia.
The works of [God’s] hands are faithful and just; all His precepts are trustworthy. — Psalm 111:7
(A man carrying an American flag leaves a rally for President Donald Trump outside the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on November 21, 2020, and looks down the street at a group of counter protesters. AP/Ben Gray)