US Elections 2020: Georgia recount complete, affirms Joe Biden win
Washington, Nov 20: President-elect Joe Biden has won the Republican stronghold of Georgia, a top state official said after a manual recount, becoming the first Democrat to have won the key battleground state since 1992.
After a hand recount of nearly five million votes, that lasted for several days, Democrat Biden won by 12,284 votes over President Donald Trump. Before the recount, Biden's lead was about 14,000 votes.
"Georgia's historic first statewide audit reaffirmed that the state's new secure paper ballot voting system accurately counted and reported results," said Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Thursday.
Georgia hadn't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1992.
Officials said that the audit confirmed that there was no widespread fraud or irregularities in the election held on November 3.
"This is a credit to the hard work of our county and local elections officials who moved quickly to undertake and complete such a momentous task in a short period of time," the Republican official said.
Georgia has been a traditional Republican stronghold. Biden is the first Democratic president to have won Georgia since 1992. The election results in Georgia, which has 16 electoral college votes, is expected to be certified on Friday.
Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election on November 7 after flipping Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin to the Democrats' column.
With Georgia's 16 electoral votes, Biden will now have 306 electoral votes to Trump's 232.
Trump won Georgia by 5 percentage points in 2016 over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, Trump campaign's senior legal advisor Jenna Ellis accused the media of falsely reporting that Biden has been declared the winner in Georgia as the State has not yet certified its results.
"Headlines are already falsely reporting that Biden is declared the winner in Georgia. Sorry, media, that's not how it works. The State of Georgia has not certified its results, and it should not.
"This so-called hand recount went exactly as we expected because Georgia simply recounted all of the illegal ballots that had been included in the total. We continue to demand that Georgia conduct an honest recount, which includes signature matching. We intend to pursue all legal options to ensure that only legal ballots are counted," Ellis said.
President Trump has refused to concede the November 3 US election and has filed multiple lawsuits challenging poll results in several States.
with PTI inputs