Georgia’s top election official says Biden wins state’s latest recount

    Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Monday that the third timing counting votes cast in the presidential election confirm President-elect Joe Biden's close win over President Donald Trump. Trump continues to challenge the outcome despite the U.S. and Georgia's attorney generals and state election investigators saying there is no evidence of widespread fraud. Stanley Dunlap/Georgia Recorder

    Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger certified the third counting of ballots in Georgia’s presidential race, confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory once again over President Donald Trump.

    Raffensperger announced Monday afternoon that he signed off on the results after nearly 5 million ballots were rescanned starting just before Thanksgiving. 

    The size of Biden’s victory over Trump shrank by 886 votes from 12,760 from the initially certified results to 11,784 votes in the latest recount requested by the president. But as election officials assured since Biden was first declared the winner of Georgia’s 16 electoral votes, the recount did not change the outcome.

    The certification comes as some Georgia GOP leaders press for more investigations into allegations of election fraud as Trump’s campaign and the president’s supporters continue to fight the results in courts and in the public arena.

    Over the weekend, Gov. Brian Kemp refused to order a special session so that legislators could illegally reverse the election results, and on Monday, U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Georgia Judge Timothy Batten dismissed a lawsuit filed by former Trump attorney Sidney Powell.

    The Coffee County election board approved its election results on Monday, the last of the state’s 159 counties needed for the state to recertify. 

    “Today is an important day for election integrity in Georgia and across the country,”  Raffensperger said in a statement after he made the certification official. “The claims in the Kraken lawsuit prove to be as mythological as the creature for which they’re named. Georgians can now move forward knowing that their votes, and only their legal votes, were counted accurately, fairly, and reliably.”

    Widespread fraud accusations have been called unfounded by Raffensperger’s investigators, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr and U.S. Attorney General William Barr. Meanwhile, more than 30 of the roughly 50 election lawsuits filed on Trump’s behalf in several states have been rejected or dropped.

    The latest argument from Trump attorneys is that Raffensperger’s office violated election law by allowing people to request absentee ballots through a new online portal using a Georgia driver’s license or ID number instead of a signature.

    A record 1.3 million Georgians cast absentee ballots in the November election, with their popularity soaring during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Kemp and a host of other Georgia Republican elected-officials have repeatedly asked Raffensperger to conduct an audit of the signatures on ballot envelopes, but Raffenseprger has so far declined to do so.

    Georgia’s 16 Democratic electors are scheduled to select Biden on Dec. 14.

    Stanley Dunlap
    Stanley Dunlap has covered government and politics for news outlets in Georgia and Tennessee for the past decade. At The (Macon) Telegraph he told readers about Macon-Bibb County’s challenges implementing its recent consolidation, with a focus on ways the state Legislature determines the fate of local communities. He used open records requests to break a story of a $400 million pension sweetheart deal a county manager steered to a friendly consultant. The Georgia Associated Press Managing Editors named Stanley a finalist for best deadline reporting for his story on the death of Gregg Allman and best beat reporting for explanatory articles on the 2018 Macon-Bibb County budget deliberations. The Tennessee Press Association honored him for his reporting on the disappearance of Holly Bobo, which became a sensational murder case that generated national headlines.