Ray Charles might have sung “Georgia on My Mind,” but Georgia has been on everybody’s mind from Election Day on. Following a hand recount of presidential votes, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp certified the election results late Friday.
The hand recount affirmed Georgia’s election results, and as reported by the Associated Press, “No individual county showed a variation in margin larger than 0.73%, and the variation in margin in 103 of the state’s 159 counties was less than 0.05%, a memo released with the results says.”
Georgia’s certified results showed Biden beating Trump by 12,670 votes out of about 5 million cast, or 0.25%. Georgia state law allows a candidate to request a recount if the margin is less than 0.5%.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 22, 2020
The Trump campaign then sent a hand-delivered letter to the secretary of state’s office requesting a second recount. A statement from Trump’s legal team said, in part:
“Today, the Trump campaign filed a petition for recount in Georgia. We are focused on ensuring that every aspect of Georgia State Law and the U.S. Constitution are followed so that every legal vote is counted. President Trump and his campaign continue to insist on an honest recount in Georgia, which has to include signature matching and other vital safeguards.”
In response to the Trump camp’s request, Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger asked his deputy in a written message to “officially notify county election directors to prepare for the recount and to notify political parties so they could muster observers at the respective sites,” which he said would be “highly scrutinized,” reported AP.
Sen. Kelly Loeffler, one of two Republicans who face runoff elections in Georgia on January 5 tweeted on Sunday that she fully supports Trump’s request for a second recount.
“I fully support President Donald Trump’s request for a recount in Georgia. We must match and verify absentee ballot signatures to their corresponding voter registration signatures, investigate all voting irregularities, and count only the votes that were legally cast.”
I fully support President @realDonaldTrump‘s request for a recount in Georgia. We must match and verify absentee ballot signatures to their corresponding voter registration signatures, investigate all voting irregularities, and count only the votes that were legally cast.
— Kelly Loeffler (@KLoeffler) November 22, 2020
However, in a Saturday Washington Post op-ed titled “Georgia’s election results are sound,” Raffensperger wrote that “Georgia’s election results are sound,” and its voting system “has never been more secure or trustworthy.” Don’t they all say that?
Georgia’s elections have received a lot of unfair and unwarranted criticism over the past two years, much of it spurred by disinformation. The successful November election and the smooth hand recount have proved our critics wrong.
Georgia’s voting system has never been more secure or trustworthy. A newly implemented statewide voting system gave Georgia voters paper ballots for the first time in nearly 20 years. This month, voters could review those paper records and verify that their choices were correct before casting their ballots.
Raffensperger said signatures on mail-in ballots are verified twice and steps are taken to assure that ballots go the correct addresses. Don’t they all say that, too?
In Georgia, signatures for absentee ballot voters are verified twice to ensure that each voter gets one vote — and only one vote. Voters who request an absentee ballot through the state’s new online portal provide a driver’s license number for verification. Voter rolls are maintained to ensure that only living and qualified voters remain on the registration lists — and, importantly, that each ballot goes to the correct address.
“Disinformation about the reliability of Georgia’s voting machines” began in 2018, the secretary of state wrote, while noting the hypocrisy in the media for its attacks against Trump — but Raffensperger clapped at Trump at the same time.
Disinformation about the reliability and security of Georgia’s voting machines had been percolating since 2018 — long before we even selected a system. A failed gubernatorial candidate refused to accept the outcome of an election she lost by 50,000 votes — and is praised for it by media pundits to this day, even as they attack a presidential candidate for running the same playbook.
Here’s more from the AP on what happens next.
The recount will be done using scanners that read and tabulate the votes. County election workers have already done a complete hand recount of all the votes cast in the presidential race. But that stemmed from a mandatory audit requirement and isn’t considered an official recount under the law.
State law requires that one race be audited by hand to ensure that the machines counted the ballots accurately, and Raffensperger selected the presidential race. Because of the tight margin in that race, a full hand count of ballots was necessary to complete the audit, he said.
With the clock steadily clicking toward December 14, when the members of the Electoral College will cast their ballots, the Trump campaign’s legal maneuvers, with few exceptions, have not fared well in the courts.
As I reported on Saturday, the Republican-controlled Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in Arizona voted unanimously Friday night to certify the election results of the county — Arizona’s largest — cementing Biden’s win in the highly contested state.
As my RedState colleague streiff also reported on Saturday, a Pennsylvania judge dismissed the Trump campaign’s challenge to the state’s election law, which it charged were unconstitutional — claiming the way mail-in ballots were handled in Pennsylvania resulted in the disenfranchisement of in-person voters.
Finally, the plot thickened on Saturday when Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell told Newsmax TV that cases she and her colleagues plan to file this week “will be biblical,” as I reported earlier today. It’s going to be an interesting week. #Popcorn