ATLANTA — A hand tally of the presidential race in Georgia is complete, and the results affirm Democrat Joe Biden’s lead over Republican President Donald Trump.
Biden went into the recount with a margin of 13,558 votes. Previously uncounted ballots discovered during the hand count will reduce that margin to about 12,800 votes, Gabriel Sterling, who oversees Georgia’s voting systems, said.
The hand recount of nearly 5 million votes stemmed from an audit required by a new state law and wasn’t in response to any suspected problems with the state’s results or an official recount request. The state has until Friday to certify the results that have been certified and submitted by the counties.
Once the state certifies the election results, the losing campaign has two business days to request a recount if the margin remains within 0.5%. That recount would be done using scanners that read and tally the votes and would be paid for by the counties, Sterling said.
It was up to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to select the race to be audited, and he said the presidential race made the most sense because of its significance and the tight margin separating the candidates. Because of that small margin, Raffensperger said a full hand recount was necessary.