Georgia has announced a full recount of votes in the state, where Democrat Joe Biden is leading with a slim margin. "With the margin being so close, it will require a full by hand recount in each county. This will help build confidence," Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in Atlanta.
Currently Joe Biden is leading in the traditionally Republican-leaning state by a margin of about 14,000 votes.
The announcement by Raffensperger, a Republican, followed requests made by the Georgia Republican Party on Tuesday for a full recount. Republican lawmaker Doug Collins, who heads Trump campaign's recount efforts in Georgia, had demanded a "manual hand recount of every ballot cast within the State of Georgia" in the presidential election.
However, Collins denied he was acting under Republican pressure. "We're doing this because it's really what makes the most sense ... With the national significance of this race, and the closeness of this race, we have to run a statewide audit," he said, according to CNN.
When is the Georgia Deadline for Results?
As per state rules, Georgia should certify the presidential race results by November 20. As of now, 97 of Georgia's 159 counties have certified their results. Raffensperger said he is confident that the recount of all ballots could be completed before the deadline.
"This is an important first step in the process to ensure that the election was fair and that every legal vote was counted," said Trump campaign's communications director Tim Murtaugh.
What Will a Recount in Georgia Result in?
A mere recount of votes is unlikely to change the outcome of the election in the state. The Trump campaign had demanded a recount in Wisconsin as well, but analysts had said the recount could do little to change the equation. However, the Republicans believe that a manual recount of millions of ballots would be sufficient to overturn the razor-thin margins.
What if Trump Wrests Georgia in Recount?
A Trump victory in Georgia is not enough to tilt the national balance, which is in favour of Biden now. Prominent news networks that called the election for Biden have not added Georgia in their list. Excluding Georgia, the networks have given 279 electoral votes for Biden. Hence a change in the outcome in Georgia alone will not have direct impact on the outcome.
However, the Trump campaign has also opened various legal challenges in states like Nevada and Pennsylvania. Again, the results in Arizona and Alaska are still pending and Trump is leading in these states. By forcing a possible change in the outcome in Georgia, the Republicans' best hope would be to bring its 16 electoral votes back into Trump's basket while legal challenges in other states help question the legitimacy of Biden's victory claim..
Meanwhile, President Trump, who has not conceded the race to Biden, made the first post-election appearance, visiting the Arlington National Cemetery to honor the veterans.
Biden has said his transition team is working on a smooth transfer of power in January.