Washington, Nov 21 (IANS) Georgia has certified the results of the 2020 US presidential following the full hand recount, making it official that Democrat Joe Biden won the state’s 16 electoral votes.
“As Secretary of State, I believe that the numbers that we have presented today are correct,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said at a news conference on Friday.
“Close margins of voters leads to fights that are as fierce after Election Day as the campaigns before,” he said.
“Close elections sow distrust. People feel their side was cheated. We saw this from the Democrats in 2018. And we see this from Republicans today.”
The recount of roughly five million votes found that the former Vice President received 12,284 more votes than President Donald Trump in the traditional Republican stronghold, reports Xinhua news agency.
Most counties saw only minor changes in their tallies, with the recount vote totals differing by single digits.
“The numbers reflect the verdict of the people, not a decision by the secretary of state’s office or our courts, or of either campaigns,” Raffensperger said.
However, Trump campaign senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis said late Thursday that the campaign will “continue to demand that Georgia conduct an honest recount, which includes signature matching.”
“This so-called hand recount went exactly as we expected because Georgia simply recounted all of the illegal ballots that had been included in the total,” Ellis said in a statement.
Following the certification of the results, Republican Governor Brian Kemp must now “certify the slates of presidential electors receiving the highest number of votes” by 5 p.m. on Saturday, ABC News reported.
The certification of the vote totals in each state is a major step in formalizing a president-elect’s victory.
A number of key swing states including Michigan and Pennsylvania will meet the deadline for certifying their election results from next week.
Biden declared victory for the US presidential election on Nov. 7. Trump hasn’t conceded and is mounting challenges in court over allegations of voter fraud and counting misconduct.
A federal law sets what is called the “Safe Harbor” deadline, falling on December 8 this year, the day by which states must submit the winner of the presidential election if they are to be insulated from legal disputes.
Electoral College representatives will meet six days later, on December 14, to formally select the next US President.