ATLANTA, Ga (CW69 News at 10 / TBEN) – Georgia’s certification of the 2020 presidential election is now complete, but not without drama.
An hour after Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office issued a press release announcing that voter certification was complete, his office released another stating that it had not yet certified the results of the presidential election.
At 3:58 p.m., Raffensperger’s office released another statement saying the results are certified.
Georgia’s top election official has certified results showing Democrat Joe Biden won the presidential race in the state. https://t.co/hZ0eR6A7rx
– TBEN Politics (@AP_Politics) November 20, 2020
Certification formalizes razor-thin presidential results after statewide audit confirmed Joe Biden received more votes than President Donald Trump and would deal a blow to Trump’s long-standing efforts to reverse the election result.
“The numbers don’t lie,” Raffensperger said at a press conference earlier on Friday. “As Secretary of State, I think the numbers presented to us today are correct.”
Raffensperger’s office then issued a press release at 12:26 pm, saying, “Georgia Secretary of State’s office today certified the results of the November 3, 2020 general election.” But he sent a “correction” at 1:06 pm saying: “Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger will today certify the results of the general election of November 3, 2020”.
Certifying election results is usually a formality, but the obscure process has become the final battleground in Trump’s bid to retain the presidency. His campaign is trying to block or delay certification in key states in hopes of overturning Biden’s victory through the Electoral College.
The system becomes virtually impossible if key states certify their presidential results by December 8, which is known as a “safe harbor” under federal law. Now that Georgia has certified its results, the state has met the deadline and Congress is required to meet those results.
Raffensperger has backed down from efforts by Trump and his GOP allies to question the counting process in the state and has vigorously defended the integrity of the presidential race in Georgia.
Now that the results are certified, Trump has every right to demand a statewide machine recount because of the narrow margin. The deadline for his campaign to ask for this recount is Tuesday afternoon.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, has until 5 p.m. ET on Saturday to sign the documents that officially grant the 16 Georgian voters to Biden, according to state law. Kemp was relatively calm during the post-election audit, but a source familiar with the situation told TBEN that Kemp is expected to announce at a press conference Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. that he has certified the votes. election campaign for Biden.
– Cody Hall (@CodyHallGA) November 9, 2020
Kemp issued a statement ahead of the audit urging Raffensperger to “seriously examine any allegations of improper voting that have been made.” Trump and his campaign have raised unsubstantiated allegations of massive irregularities and fraud in Georgia.
Trump has mentioned the governor in at least six tweets since polling day, urging Kemp to “toughen up” and “rock the state” even though Georgian voters have backed Biden, the Democratic candidate. He also encouraged Kemp to “take charge” after it became clear that the audit did not reveal widespread irregularities.
But in the tweets, Trump also berated Kemp, blaming him for a legal deal the state struck earlier this year with Democratic groups over mail-order votes. Raffensperger’s office said Trump had misinterpreted the agreement, known as the consent decree, which he said weakened verification rules for postal votes.
A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit to delay Georgia’s certification. The case was brought by one of the potential Republican voters and the Trump campaign was not officially involved. Lin Wood, who brought the lawsuit, would have served as a pro-Trump voter if Trump had won Georgia.
© 2020 TBEN Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. TBEN contributed to the story.