Georgia will conduct a statewide recount of ballots cast in the election between President Trump and President-elect Joe Biden, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said.
Raffensperger, a Republican, said the state will work with county officials to complete the recount in time to meet its Nov. 20 deadline for certifying statewide election results. “This will help build confidence. It will be an audit, a recount and a recanvass all at once,” Raffensperger said at a press conference. “It will be a heavy lift.” He said the presidential contest will undergo a risk-limiting audit, which requires a full by-hand recount in each of Georgia’s 159 counties.
Biden’s lead over Trump in Georgia has grown to more than 14,000 votes among nearly 5 million casts, according to NBC News, which has not a projected winner in the Peach State.
Ninety-seven counties in the state have sent in final numbers to the state, Raffensperger said, and the current margin of votes between President-elect Biden and President Trump is 14,111. He vowed that his office has been investigating, and will continue to investigate, all instances of voting irregularities. Raffensperger was joined at the press conference Wednesday by-elections directors from across the state, and he praised them for their work ensuring all legal votes are counted.
Raffensperger’s latest announcement comes after the Trump campaign and Georgia Republican Party sent him a letter on Tuesday requesting a manual hand recount of all ballots cast in the state before it certifies its results. In its letter to the secretary of state, the Republicans allege voting discrepancies and statewide errors, though they did not cite specific evidence of such irregularities.
On Monday, Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, whose respective races are each heading to a runoff, called on Raffensperger to resign because of “mismanagement and lack of transparency,” though they did not cite examples of the alleged mismanagement.
Raffensperger, however, rejected their calls to step down, saying in a statement “the voters of Georgia hired me, and the voters will be the one to fire me.” He also suggested the two GOP senators shift their focus to retaining control of the Senate.