November 25, 2020

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Biden wins Georgia recount as Trump setbacks mount

3 min read

US President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia has been confirmed by a recount, as legal efforts by Donald Trump’s allies to challenge his defeat were dismissed in three states.

The Democrat beat his Republican rival in Georgia by 12,284 votes, according to the audit required by state law.

Biden said he was confident Trump knew he was not going to win and had shown “incredible irresponsibility”.

The Democrat is set to take office in January as the 46th US president.

Biden’s victory margin in the public vote overall stands at more than 5.9 million. His victory in the US Electoral College system, which determines who becomes president, is projected to be 306 to 232.

What happened in Georgia?

On Thursday, Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, said the hand audit of ballots had not altered Biden’s victory in the state.

“Georgia’s historic first statewide audit reaffirmed that the state’s new secure paper ballot voting system accurately counted and reported results,” Raffensberger, a Republican, said in a statement.

“This is a credit to the hard work of our county and local elections officials who moved quickly to undertake and complete such a momentous task in a short period of time.”

The recount found the highest error rate in any county was 0.73% and the overall margin between Biden and Trump remained at under 0.5%. The results will be certified on Friday.

Trump campaign senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis said the audit had gone “exactly as we expected” because, she said without evidence, the state had recounted illegal ballots.

“This is a credit to the hard work of our county and local elections officials who moved quickly to undertake and complete such a momentous task in a short period of time.”

The recount found the highest error rate in any county was 0.73% and the overall margin between Biden and Trump remained at under 0.5%. The results will be certified on Friday.

Trump campaign senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis said the audit had gone “exactly as we expected” because, she said without evidence, the state had recounted illegal ballots.

What of the legal challenges?

In a matter of hours on Thursday, Trump’s allies were dealt legal setbacks in Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Republicans lost their final lawsuit in Georgia as a court rejected their effort to block the results’ certification, which is due to happen on Friday. The judge who dismissed the case was appointed by Trump last year.

In Arizona, a judge rejected a lawsuit filed last week by the state Republican Party seeking a new audit of ballots in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix – the state capital and largest city.

In Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign lost their bid in state court to throw out more than 2,000 postal ballots.

At a Thursday briefing, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani continued to layout unsubstantiated conspiracy theories and accusations of electoral fraud.

He railed against the reporting of his team’s legal challenges, saying the media had shown an “irrational pathological hatred for the president”.

Giuliani also said the campaign was withdrawing its last remaining lawsuit in Michigan. He said it had achieved its aim of stopping the certification of the result in one key county.

However, the vice-chairman of Wayne County’s canvassing board said an attempt by its two Republican members to rescind their earlier certification of the result was invalid, and the certification was binding.

One of the Republicans said Trump had called her personally after the vote had been certified “to make sure I was safe”.

Biden won the county by a huge margin, according to unofficial results, and prevailed in Michigan by about 146,000 votes.

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