ATLANTA – Georgian officials certified President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in the state on Friday, hours after a staff member mistakenly sent a statement saying the process was over – a surreal glitch from last minute in a critical context and up close. looked at the state of the battlefield.
The certification ensured that Mr. Biden would receive the state’s 16 electoral votes and dealt a blow to President Trump’s attempt to overturn the vote in half a dozen battlefield states, and with it, the national elections which Mr. Biden won decisively.
It was a first step in the state-by-state process to finalize Mr Biden’s victory, a process expected to unfold in the coming days as Mr Trump continues to deny his defeat and cry fraud and his campaign and its surrogates are flooding the courts with largely baseless lawsuits that have so far failed.
“I live by the motto that numbers don’t lie,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, top Georgian and Republican elections official, said at a press conference Friday morning in the state capital. “I think the numbers we presented today are correct.”
The certification followed a manual recount of the state’s five million votes that Raffensperger ordered after being requested by the Trump campaign. The recount revealed that Mr. Biden had beaten Mr. Trump by more than 12,000 votes.
“Like other Republicans, I am disappointed that our candidate did not win Georgia’s electoral votes,” Raffensperger said.
The news came hours after Georgian officials mistakenly announced that certification was complete. “We had a staff member who sent the wrong press release,” said Jordan Fuchs, Georgia’s deputy secretary of state.
Official documentation of Mr Biden’s triumph in Georgia, a state no Democrats had won for nearly three decades, highlighted the party’s resurgence in power.
Other states that Mr. Trump lost but are contesting are expected to certify their results in the coming days, with deadlines Monday in Michigan and Pennsylvania and November 30 and December 1 in Arizona, Nevada and Wisconsin.
The certification of votes in Georgia came against a backdrop of significant political turmoil and pressure. Mr Raffensperger has been accused of mismanaging the election by his fellow Republicans, including the two state senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who face second-round races in January that will determine the party control in the Senate. Both are strong supporters of Mr. Trump.
Mr Raffensperger has said since polling day that the process he is responsible for overseeing is trustworthy. When he ordered the recount requested by the Trump campaign, he said it was part of a “risk-limiting audit” of votes.
The audit, which lasted for six days and involved hundreds of employees, found a number of ballots not counted in four counties.
It showed that Mr. Biden beat Mr. Trump by 12,284 votes, with Mr. Trump getting 1,872 net votes from the original tally. The newly discovered ballots devoured Mr Biden’s state head, which stood at 14,156 votes earlier this week.
By law, Mr Raffensperger was obliged to certify the election results before 5 p.m. Friday. Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, must then certify the results before 5 p.m. Saturday. (The law states that the governor will “certify the lists of presidential voters receiving the highest number of votes,” which appears to leave him with no choice but to choose voters who support Mr. Biden.)
The Trump campaign still has a mouthful of Georgia’s results: State law allows the loser of an election to request a recount by high-speed scanners if the winner is less than a half ahead. percentage point, as is the case here Mr. Biden advance 0.25%. Mr. Trump will have two business days to request the recount.