Georgia Recount Only Shows Slight Difference In Vote Total; Biden Still Wins State

( The full by-hand recount and statewide audit of the election in Georgia has concluded, and the outcome has not changed.

President-elect Joe Biden still came out ahead of President Donald Trump in the results, the office of the Secretary of State announced in a release Thursday. Biden defeated Trump by a narrow margin of 12,284 votes. It was a slight drop for Biden from the results before the audit, but not enough of a drop to switch the outcome.

Georgia’s state officials said the audit confirmed that there wasn’t any widespread irregularities or fraud for the election. Georgia must certify these election results by Friday, as required by state law.

Brad Raffensperger, the Republican Secretary of State for Georgia, said in a statement:

“Georgia’s historic first statewide audit reaffirmed that the state’s new secure paper ballot voting system accurately counted and reported results. 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 loss for Trump in Georgia is particularly hard. Georgia is a traditionally red state, but suburban voters especially turned against the president in this election. The biggest losses for Trump were among voters in the suburbs around Atlanta, as well as the high turnout among black voters.

Jaclyn Rothenberg, Biden’s communications director for the state of Georgia, released a statement Thursday saying this outcome “simply reaffirmed what we already knew: Georgia voters selected Joe Biden to be their next president.”

She continued:

“We are grateful to the election officials, volunteers and workers for working overtime and under unprecedented circumstances to complete this recount, as the utmost form of public service.”

During the recount that happened over the weekend, four counties in Georgia found new batches of votes that were never counted on Election Day or weren’t sent properly to the Secretary of State’s office to be counted. More than 5,800 of these votes were found, with 1,400 of them going to Trump.

State officials said these were merely mistakes of human error and weren’t indicative of anyone rigging the vote or committing voter fraud. In fact, the Secretary of State’s office said the difference in vote totals between the original count and the recount were “well within the expected margin of human error that occurs when hand-counting ballots.”

The voting system implementation manager in Georgia, Gabriel Sterling, explained the recount process. He told CNN that “one of the main things that you’re looking for when you do this hand audit is to make sure that the items you see on the paper, on the ballot” match up with what is being reported on computers.

He continued:

“Human beings are looking because, as you know, one of the big complaints is these machines somehow flipped votes or changed votes or did stuff. They didn’t, at least not in Georgia. We proved it.”

Now all that’s left to make Georgia’s vote tally official is the signature of Republican Governor Brian Kemp, who needs to sign off on granting Biden the state’s 16 electors by Saturday at 5 p.m.