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Trump campaign requests Georgia recount despite more rigorous audit

Trump campaign requests Georgia recount despite more rigorous audit

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Georgia hand tally of votes is complete, affirms Biden lead

Officials sort ballots during an audit at the Georgia World Congress Center on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Atlanta. Election officials in Georgia's 159 counties are undertaking a hand tally of the presidential race that stems from an audit required by state law. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Georgia will conduct another recount of its presidential ballots following a Trump campaign request Saturday, but the recount is extremely unlikely to change his loss in the state.

"Because the margin is still less than 0.5%, the President can request a recount after certification of the results. That recount will be conducted by rescanning all paper ballots," Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had said in a statement on Friday after a state audit of the presidential results had been completed.

President-elect Joe Biden, who was declared the winner Friday as the state certified the results, has a 12,670 vote or .2% lead over President Donald Trump in Georgia.

Georgia already conducted an audit of the presidential ballots, meaning all ballots in the presidential race were counted a second time — which was a defacto recount. The audit was more rigorous than the recount will be as the audit was a hand recount of every ballot, whereas the new recount will be done by a machine rescan.

Under Georgia law, the Trump campaign had two business days from Friday's certification to request the recount, which will be taxpayer-funded.

"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," the Trump campaign said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Biden campaign said: "Last week's recount reaffirmed what we already knew: Georgia voters selected Joe Biden to be their next president. As the Secretary of State said, there is no reason to believe there are widespread errors or fraud and the Trump campaign has no evidence to back up their baseless claims."

Signature matching for mail-in ballots is not done in recounts, however, according to campaign law expert Jonathan Diaz, a CNN contributor. Comparing of signatures on envelopes of mail-in ballots to those on file is done earlier in the process. The Trump campaign was upset more ballots were not thrown out because of signature issues.

Diaz said "no recount is going to change" the margin of more than 12,000 votes.

"There's no real point in them doing so, other than to continue to drag out this process and cause further delays," Diaz said. "It is a time of nonsense," he said of the recount request. "The war is over." — CNN

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