Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Wednesday they have seen “no substantial changes” in the state’s election recount and expects to re-certify President-elect Joe Biden as the winner.
News of the looming recount results is yet another blow to President Donald Trump, who continues to baselessly claim widespread voter fraud in the state and has pursued legal challenges in the state. The President has repeatedly attacked Republican state officials, including Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp, for not overturning the outcome in his favor, though the two men have distinguished themselves from other national party leaders by consistently rejecting his claims of fraud.
“We have seen no substantial changes to the results from any county so far. And that’s what we expected, and I think that’s what most other people have also,” Raffensperger said at a press conference from the south stairs of the Georgia Capitol.
He also said 110 counties have finished their work on the recount as of Wednesday morning and he anticipates that all 159 counties in the state will finish their recount by a midnight deadline. Recount results will begin to be posted online starting Wednesday afternoon.
Gabriel Sterling, the voting systems implementation manager for the secretary of state’s office, said during the press conference they plan to re-certify the presidential election results on Friday afternoon.
There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Georgia, which Biden won by more than 12,000 votes. Nearly 5 million votes were cast statewide.
For weeks, the President has made a series of unfounded claims of fraud in Georgia that state officials have disputed. The back-and-forth over the election results has intensified in recent days, after Joe diGenova, an attorney for the Trump campaign, issued a call for violence against Chris Krebs, a former cybersecurity official who had rejected Trump’s voter fraud claims and ousted from his position. DiGenova later tried to walk back his remarks by portraying them as a joke.
Sterling pleaded for Trump and other Republicans to denounce the threats against election workers and officials on Tuesday, saying “it’s all gone too far.”
“You need to step up and say this … stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence,” Sterling said, addressing the President. “Someone’s going to get hurt, someone’s going to get shot, someone’s going to get killed, and it’s not right.”
Tim Murtaugh, Trump campaign communications director, told CNN on Tuesday that “the campaign is focused on ensuring that all legal votes are counted and all illegal votes are not. No one should engage in threats or violence, and if that has happened, we condemn that fully.”
Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are expected to travel to the Peach State this weekend to campaign for Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who are both facing runoff elections in January that could determine which party controls the chamber.