Georgia hand tally confirms Joe Biden win

Donald Trump's tenure in the White House takes another body after recount

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A top Georgia election official has said that the hand tally of ballots cast in the presidential race has been completed and that the results show Joe Biden still has a narrow lead over President Donald Trump.

"Every single vote was touched by a human audit team and counted," said Gabriel Sterling, who oversaw the implementation of the state’s new voting system.

“Obviously, the audit confirms the original result of the election, namely that Joe Biden won the presidential contest in the state of Georgia.”

Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is expected to certify Mr Biden's victory on Friday.

 

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 per cent. That recount would be done using scanners that read and tally the votes and would be paid for by the counties.

The five million votes that were recounted stemmed from an audit required by a new state law and was not in response to any suspected problems with the state’s results or to an official request.

Votes that hadn’t previously been counted were found in several counties during the audit, meaning a recertification of the results was required.

In Floyd County, more than 2,500 ballots were discovered during the audit that had not previously been scanned, and the secretary of state’s office called for the firing of the county’s chief elections clerk, Robert Brady.

The county elections board on Thursday voted to issue a written reprimand to Mr Brady and, because it was his second written reprimand within six months, to fire him in accordance with county policy, board member Melanie Conrad said in an email.

Several other counties found memory cards with votes that hadn’t been uploaded and counted prior to the audit.

Going into the hand tally, Biden led Trump by a margin of about 14,000 votes. The previously uncounted ballots discovered during the hand count will reduce that margin to about 12,800, Mr Sterling said.

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