Biden Extends Lead in Georgia

Biden Extends Lead in Georgia
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden addresses the nation at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del., on Nov. 6, 2020. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Tom Ozimek

Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden's lead in Georgia has grown to 14,148 votes, with over 99 percent of votes counted, according to Decision Desk HQ.

As of early Wednesday, Biden was reported to have 2,471,882 votes, compared to President Donald Trump's 2,457,734, representing a lead of 0.28 percentage points. Georgia state law permits candidates to request a recount if the margin is 0.5 percentage points or less. Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said last week that, given the tight race, the state would hold a recount.

On Tuesday, the Trump campaign called on Raffensperger to take steps related to the expected vote recount to ensure "confidence in our electoral process," including verifying voter eligibility and a full hand-count of all ballots.

Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), who leads the Trump campaign's recount team in Georgia, made the request to Raffensperger, calling for a series of election integrity-related measures amid allegations of voter irregularities.

Collins asked for a full comparison of absentee ballots cast and in-person and provisional ballots cast, and for carrying out a voter eligibility check to make sure no felons or other ineligible individuals cast a vote in the state. He also urged Raffensperger to announce a "full hand-count of every ballot cast in each and every county due to widespread allegations of voter irregularities, issues with voting machines, and poll watcher access."

In recounts, ballots are typically rescanned using machines, but some reports of election irregularities in Georgia include issues in Fulton County that prompted a rescan of a number of ballots. Other reports pertain to claims by David Shafer, chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, that county workers told GOP poll watchers to go home on Election Day "because they were closing up and then continued to count ballots in secret." A Fulton County official disputed the claim, telling The Epoch Times in a statement that when an elections official learned that staff were dismissed in the evening, he advised some workers to continue to work through the night and that the processing area remained open to observers.

"It may be possible that observers left at the time the majority of the staff left, but from the information we have, the processing area was never closed to observers,” said Jessica Corbitt, a spokesperson for Fulton County.

 Then-Republican candidate for Georgia secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, in a file photograph. (Joan Wang/The Epoch Times)
Then-Republican candidate for Georgia secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, in a file photograph. (Joan Wang/The Epoch Times)
Georgia's voting system implementation manager Gabriel Sterling said Monday that elections are "imperfect" and that officials are sure to find that some people did vote illegally. He added, however, that he does not believe the scale of voting improprieties will be significant enough to change the outcome.

"We are going to find that people did illegally vote," Sterling said, according to The Associated Press. "That's going to happen. They're going to be double voters. There are going to be people who ... didn't have the qualifications of a registered voter to vote in the state. That will be found. Is it 10,353? Unlikely."

Electoral research carried out by The Associated Press found there have been at least 31 statewide recounts since 2000, with three of those changing the outcome of the election.

Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times. He has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.
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