Georgia confirms Biden victory; finds no widespread fraud after statewide audit

Author
CNN,
Publish Date
Fri, 20 Nov 2020, 2:21PM
Joe Biden. (Photo / AP)
Joe Biden. (Photo / AP)

Georgia confirms Biden victory; finds no widespread fraud after statewide audit

Author
CNN,
Publish Date
Fri, 20 Nov 2020, 2:21PM

Georgia has finished its statewide audit of the razor-thin presidential race and President-elect Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump, according to a news release from the Secretary of State's office.

Biden beat Trump by 12,284 votes, according to the final results from the audit. This is a slight drop for Biden compared to the pre-audit results.

Officials have said repeatedly that the audit confirmed there was no widespread fraud or irregularities in the election.

Georgia is required under state law to certify its election results by Friday.

There is no state where the sting of Trump's loss has been more acutely felt than in the red state of Georgia.

The suburban revolt against Trump in the suburbs surrounding Atlanta, paired with huge turnout among Black voters, powered Biden's gains in the state, building on years of intensive Democratic organizing to register voters. The state is now the center of the political universe, because the two US Senate runoff elections will determine which political party controls the Senate.

The President has continued to tweet debunked disinformation about voting software used in the state and objected to the recount as "fake" by tweeting false claims about the state's signature-matching process.

During the weeklong recount, officials in four counties found new batches of votes that weren't counted on Election Day or weren't properly transmitted to the Secretary of State for tallying.

In all, more than 5,800 uncounted votes were uncovered, netting nearly 1,400 new votes for Trump, who falsely said the discoveries were proof of wrongdoing. State officials stressed that these were accidents caused by human error and not indicative of fraud or vote-rigging.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, has come under fire from both Trump and the state's sitting GOP senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who called on him to resign after falsely accusing him of failing to "deliver honest and transparent elections."

Raffensperger told CNN's Jake Tapper on Wednesday that the state has "not seen widespread voter fraud." When asked about the attacks from Trump and members of his own party, he defended his credentials as a "lifelong Republican" and "conservative Christian Republican."

"I'm going to make sure we count every legal, lawful vote and we're not going to count any illegal votes," Raffensperger said. "My record will stand on itself. We have done a great job."

The confirmation comes as state judges in Arizona and Pennsylvania and a federal judge in Georgia rejected election-related lawsuits Thursday local time from Republicans and the Trump campaign.

The hat trick of losses were the latest round of defeats for the Trump campaign in its long-shot and increasingly far-fetched bid to block President-elect Joe Biden's win before the Electoral College certifies him as the next president.

One of the judges, a Trump appointee in Georgia, called the attempt by Republican-allied lawyers to block election results "quite striking," refusing their attempt to stop Biden's win there.

In Arizona, a state judge declined to audit votes in the state and delay the finalization of results, saying the lawsuit couldn't be retooled and brought again. And in Pennsylvania, a state judge ordered the counting of more than absentee 2,000 ballots the Trump campaign wanted to exclude.

The rulings came with only a few hours between them on Thursday.

Losses for the Trump campaign have piled up on other recent days, including when nine cases from the Trump campaign or his allies were either denied or pulled last Friday, and when Trump-supporting voters dropped four lawsuits pushing fraud claims earlier this week.

Despite pledges by Trump campaign attorneys -- including Rudy Giuliani -- to continue the fight, nearly no viable post-election cases remain for the Trump campaign that could deprive Biden of the electoral votes to become president. Legal analysts have widely said Trump's bids in court to change the election results will all fail.

One federal lawsuit now spearheaded by Giuliani lingers in Pennsylvania, but the judge who is considering it expressed skepticism on Tuesday that the commonwealth's presidential vote should be discarded.

text by Jason Morris, Maeve Reston and Marshall Cohen, CNN.