Georgia to release report on US presidential recount results

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Georgia election officials expect to release a report Thursday on the presidential race tally, and they have repeatedly said they expect it to confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s weak lead over Republican President Donald Trump.The manual tally of around 5 million votes came from an audit required by a new state law and was not in response to suspicious issues with the state’s results or an official request for a recount. The state has until Friday to certify the results that have been certified and submitted by the counties.

The counties were supposed to complete the hand count by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. Gabriel Sterling, who oversaw the implementation of the state’s new voting system, said he expected the Secretary of State’s office to issue a report on the results Thursday at noon.

Once the state certifies the election results, the losing campaign has two business days to request a recount if the margin remains below 0.5 percent. That recount would be done using scanners that would read and count the votes and would be paid for by the counties, Sterling said.

It was up to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to select which race to audit, and he said the presidential race made the most sense because of its importance and the narrow margin between candidates. Because of that small margin, Raffensperger said a full recount was needed.

Observers watch during a manual recount of Cobb County presidential votes on Sunday. Election officials in Georgia said they expected the recount report to confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s weak lead over Republican President Donald Trump. (John Amis / Atlanta Journal & Constitution / The Associated Press)

Going into the tally, Biden led Trump by a margin of around 14,000 votes. Previously uncounted ballots discovered in four counties during the manual count will reduce that margin to about 12,800, Sterling said.

Other counties saw slight differences in hand count results, and state election officials had always said that was to be expected.

The Associated Press did not declare a winner in Georgia, where Biden led Trump by about 0.3 percentage point. There is no mandatory recount law in Georgia, but state law provides for this option for a candidate who follows if the margin is less than 0.5 percentage point. It is the PA’s practice not to call a race that is – or is likely to become – subject to a recount.

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