Georgia Secretary of State Says There Will Be a Recount
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) said Friday that he expects a recount in his state after former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for president, squashed President Donald Trump’s lead late Thursday night.
Georgia’s 16 Electoral College votes are make or break for Trump’s reelection prospects, as he is trailing Biden in every swing state except North Carolina (15 EV). Biden, meanwhile, only needs to win Arizona (11 EV) and Nevada (6 EV) to get to 270.
“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 said. “The stakes are high, and emotions are high on all sides. We will not let those debates distract us from our work. We will get it right.”
Georgia Sec. of State Raffensperger expects that "there will be a recount in Georgia" due to narrow vote margin. pic.twitter.com/Uirt7HDIlB
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 6, 2020
Georgia state law does not mandate automatic recounts in close or contested elections. Instead, the secretary of state or other elections officials can request it under certain conditions.
The recount can be requested if the margin is less than or equal to 0.5%. The recount must be requested within two business days after county certification. Election officials may also request recounts under certain circumstances explained below. There are no set deadlines for completion.
Under Georgia law, recounts may be requested under the following conditions:
- If the margin between candidates is less than or equal to 0.5%, a candidate may request a recount within two business days following the certification of results.
- An election official may order, at his or her discretion, a recount if it appears there is a discrepancy or error in the returns. In precincts using paper or scanned ballots, any candidate or political party may petition the election official to make such an order. In precincts using voting machines, any three electors of the precinct may do the same.
- For constitutional amendments and binding referendum questions, the Constitutional Amendment Publication Board may, at its discretion, request a recount if the margin is less than or equal to 0.5% within two business days following the certification of results.
- The Secretary of State may request a recount at his or her discretion if a candidate for federal or state office petitions the office regarding an apparent discrepancy or error in the returns.
State law specifies neither deadlines for completion nor who is responsible for requested recount costs. The Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota writes, ‘According to the Office of the Georgia Secretary of State, for recounts authorized under Title 21, the petitioners are not responsible for any of the costs incurred by election officials.’
The last Democratic presidential candidate to turn Georgia blue was Bill Clinton in 1992.