The ongoing hand-recount of Georgia’s nearly five million votes is a “fight for every legal vote,” said Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) who is leading a recount effort for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign in the state.
“It’s also a fight to make sure that illegal votes don’t count,” the congressman told Fox News on Monday. “The important part is restoring that confidence. It had to be done this way.”
Collins spoke as Georgia’s 159 counties and thousands of county and poll workers moved into the second day of the recount process. They have until Wednesday at midnight to finish tallying the votes.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden overtook Trump in the Georgia race by 0.28 percentage points, or little more than 14,000 votes. While Georgia’s state law does not automatically trigger a recount, it allows the trailing candidate to request one if the margin is less than 0.5 percentage points.
Collins added that Georgians are still reporting about issues they had with the election, and that his team is still willing to hear from anyone who had concerns about their votes being counted. “A lot of people need to realize the lawsuits that have been filed outside the campaign, but also the count itself, need to continue,” he said.
When asked by Fox News’ Steve Doocy about whether the recount could lead to substantial change to the outcome of the Georgia race, Collins said he is still waiting to see the numbers as they come back in, adding that this recount is a chance to expose issues such as overvoting, with observers in place.
“The question is, do we want 100 percent accuracy or 98.5?” said Collins. “People need to be sure that their ballot actually counts.”
Collins’s comments came after the Trump campaign argued in a lawsuit that Georgia’s consent decree, signed in March, prevented election officials from verifying signatures on ballot envelopes and therefore, invalidated the state’s election results.
“The Consent Decree signed by the Georgia Secretary of State, with the approval of Governor @BrianKempGA, at the urging of @staceyabrams, makes it impossible to check & match signatures on ballots and envelopes,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “They knew they were going to cheat. Must expose real signatures!”
Over the weekend, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger pushed back against allegations of voter fraud in the state, and called Collins a “failed candidate” and a liar.
“We strengthened signature match. We helped train election officials on GBI signature match—which is confirmed twice before a ballot is ever cast. Failed candidate Doug Collins is a liar—but what’s new?” Raffensperger wrote in a Facebook post.