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Hand Count Complete, AP Calls Georgia for Biden

Once results are certified, Trump campaign can request a recount
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 19, 2020 6:50 PM CST

(Newser) – A hand tally of ballots cast in Georgia for the presidential race has been completed, and it affirms Joe Biden's narrow lead over President Trump, according to results released Thursday by the secretary of state's office. The Associated Press declared Biden the winner of Georgia and its 16 Electoral College votes on Thursday, after the hand count confirmed the former vice president leads Trump by roughly 12,000 votes out of nearly 5 million counted. The complete hand recount 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 secretary of state’s office has until 5pm Friday to certify the election results. The results that will be certified are the totals certified by the counties, not those resulting from the audit, elections officials have said.

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The governor then has to certify the slate of presidential electors by 5pm Saturday. No individual county showed a variation in margin larger than 0.73%, and the variation in margin in 103 of the state's 159 counties was less than 0.05%, a memo released with the results says. Once the state certifies the election results, the losing campaign has two business days to request a recount since 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, the secretary of state's office has said. The AP did not call Biden the winner after election officials in Georgia initially completed and released results of the presidential election, because his margin over Trump in the state was 0.3 percentage points.

(Read more Georgia stories.)

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