Donald Trump battle Joe Biden.
As the battle for supremacy continues over who takes Whitehouse, President Donald Trump seems not have given up after facing unbeatable defeat by his opponent, Joe Biden.
Election officials in Georgia’s 159 counties are undertaking a hand tally of the presidential race that stems from an audit required by state law.
The law requires that one race be audited by hand to check that the machines counted the ballots accurately, not because of any suspected problems with the results. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger chose to audit the presidential race and said the tight margin — Democrat Joe Biden leads Republican President Donald Trump by 14,000 votes — means a full hand count is necessary.
Even as the counties were required to begin the count by 9 a.m. Friday, Raffensperger was self-quarantining as a precaution after his wife tested positive on Thursday for the coronavirus. The secretary of state’s office has instructed county election officials to complete the audit by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. The deadline for the state to certify the results is Nov. 20.
The deputy secretary of state, Jordan Fuchs, told The Associated Press that Brad Raffensperger tested negative for the virus, adding that the secretary’s quarantine will not affect the audit.
The audit is a new requirement that was included in a 2019 law that also provided guidelines that the state used to purchase a new election system from Dominion Voting Systems for more than $100 million.
County election staffers will work with the paper ballots in batches, dividing them into piles for each candidate. Then they will count each pile by hand, Fuchs said.
The final numbers in the audit count will almost definitely be slightly different than the numbers previously reported by the counties but the overall outcome should remain the same, said Gabriel Sterling, who oversaw the implementation of the state’s new voting system for the secretary of state’s office. The results will not be released piecemeal as the counties finish counting but instead will be announced once the full tally is complete, he said, adding that the results of the new count from the audit is what will be certified.
There is no mandatory recount law in Georgia, but state law provides that option to a trailing candidate if the margin is less than 0.5 percentage points. Biden’s lead stood at 0.28 percentage points as of Thursday afternoon.
Once the results from the audit are certified, the losing campaign can request that recount, which will be done using scanners that read and tally the votes, Raffensperger said.
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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Wednesday his state will conduct a manual hand recount of all ballots cast in the presidential race in the state, as he faces growing pressure from fellow Georgia Republicans over unsubstantiated accusations of voting irregularities and mismanagement of the state’s elections. “This will help build confidence. It will be an audit, a recount and a recanvass all at once,” Raffensperger said at a press conference. “It will be a heavy lift.” He said the presidential contest will undergo a risk-limiting audit, which requires a full by-hand recount in each of Georgia’s 159 counties.
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While the nation is focused on the outcome of the presidential election, political insiders and activists are turning their attention to Georgia where a set of runoff races likely will determine control of the U.S. Senate and whether President-elect Joe Biden will have a Democratic majority in both chambers of Congress when he begins his administration. The partisan breakdown in the Senate is currently a tie, with 48 Republicans and 48 Democrats. Four seats are still outstanding: In addition to the Georgia runoffs, Republicans are leading and expected to win in Alaska and North Carolina, but those races haven’t been called yet by the Associated Press because votes are still being counted.
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