Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Friday morning that the state will undertake a recount of the votes cast in the 2020 presidential election. Speaking to reporters in Atlanta, Raffensperger said there were a little fewer than 5,500 votes remaining to count across Gwinnett, Floyd, Cherokee and Cobb counties, in addition to 8,890 military ballots that will be counted if they arrive by the end of business Friday.
"Right now, Georgia remains too close to call. Out of approximately 5 million votes cast, we'll have a margin of a few thousand. The focus for our office and for the county election officials for now remains on making sure that every legal vote is counted and recorded accurately," Raffensperger said.
Raffensperger acknowledged the enormity of the task in front of election officials and the gravity of its impact on the nation itself.
"As we are closing in on a final count, we can begin to look toward our next steps. With a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia. Interest in our election obviously goes far beyond Georgia's borders. The final tally in Georgia, at this point, has huge implications for the entire country," Raffensperger continued.
In recognizing what's at stake, Georgia's top election supervisor stressed that even though "emotions are high," the state's officials will not be "distracted" by what's being said by either side. Instead, their focus is successfully completing their duties.
"We will get it right and we'll defend the integrity of our elections."According to Section A of Title 21, Chapter 2, Article 12 of Georgia's Code — which details the laws governing elections — in any precinct using paper ballots or scanning ballots, the superintendent can order a recount of all the ballots of any precinct in which there appears to be a discrepancy or error. Section C specified that losing candidates are entitled to request a recount within two business days if the difference between two opponents is less than half a percent of the total votes cast.
President Donald Trump currently trails Democratic nominee Joe Biden by around 1,500 votes, according to the latest numbers from The New York Times' election results tracker. With greater than 5 million votes cast, according to Raffensperger's figures, the margin for requesting a recount is greater than 25,000, putting the race comfortably within bounds in which a recount may be requested.
As Matt Morgan, general counsel for the Trump campaign said earlier Friday, "This election is not over."