Trump supporters outside Georgia’s State Capitol in Atlanta – GETTY IMAGES
A vote audit in Georgia has confirmed Joe Biden as the winner of the state in the November 3 election and dealt a blow to Donald Trump’s dubious claims of victory.
Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Secretary of State, said on Thursday that a hand audit of ballots was complete and had confirmed Mr Biden’s win.
Mr Trump has been claiming, with no evidence, that the Democrats are attempting to commit widespread electoral fraud and have “rigged” the vote against him.
An audit was launched in Georgia after unofficial results showed Mr Biden leading Mr Trump by about 14,000 votes. Election officials manually recounted votes, finding that Mr Biden beat the president by 12,284 votes.
During the recount, officials found batches of ballot papers that had not been counted on Election Day, or were not communicated to the Secretary of State for tallying votes.
More than 5,800 votes were found, of which about 1,400 were for Mr Trump, who has tried to claim that the discoveries were evidence of fraud.
Georgia’s officials said the miscount was due to human error and did not affect Mr Trump’s defeat.
“The audit confirmed that the original machine count accurately portrayed the winner of the election,” the secretary of state’s office said in a statement on Thursday evening.
Mr Raffensperger, who is a Republican but has been critical of Mr Trump’s false claims of fraud, is expected to formally certify Mr Biden’s victory on Friday.
Mr Trump can still request a recount in Georgia after the results are certified because the margin of victory was less than 0.5 per cent.
It comes after Rudy Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, issued a series of outlandish claims at a bizarre press conference on Thursday, including sweeping allegations of election corruption.
Mr Trump is still refusing to concede defeat in the election and Mr Biden, the president-elect, told reporters on Thursday that Mr Trump’s behaviour was “totally irresponsible”, adding: “It sends a horrible message about who we are as a country”.
“It is hard to fathom how this man thinks. It’s hard to fathom. I’m confident he knows he hasn’t won.”
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