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BIDEN MAINTAINS LEAD IN GEORGIA AFTER COMPLETION OF HAND RECOUNT



ATLANTA – President-elect Joe Biden held onto his lead over President Trump in Georgia on Thursday after the state completed a days-long hand recount of nearly 5 million votes.

With all of the state’s 59 counties reporting their results, Biden holds a 12,284-vote edge over Trump, only slightly narrower than the roughly 14,000-vote lead the president-elect held in the initial vote tally.

“Georgia’s historic first statewide audit reaffirmed that the state’s new secure paper ballot voting system accurately counted and reported results,” said Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in a statement Thursday. “This is a credit to the hard work of our county and local elections officials who moved quickly to undertake and complete such a momentous task in a short period of time.”

Biden was declared the winner in Georgia last week, becoming the first Democrat since 1992 to carry the state in a presidential election.

Raffensperger ordered a full hand recount of the vote last week after facing intense pressure from Trump and his allies, who have repeatedly made the false claim that the election results were tainted by widespread voter fraud and systemic irregularities.

Raffensperger has defended the integrity of the election and has said that he ordered the hand recount only to reassure voters of the accuracy of the results.

There is no evidence that the results of the election were tainted by any malfeasance. Raffensperger’s office announced Tuesday that it had completed an audit of voting machines and had found no sign of fraud.

While the audit confirmed that there was no foul play in the reporting of initial election results, the recount exposed flaws in Georgia’s new elections system. After the hand count, Trump netted fewer than 500 votes more than he had in the original count.

Election workers in three counties found more than 3,300 votes stored on memory cards that had not been previously uploaded to state election computers. And in Floyd County, a deep red county in northwest Georgia, the recount discovered some 2,600 ballots that had not been previously scanned.

Still, the recently unaccounted for votes were not enough to alter the outcome of the election in Georgia. The Floyd County Board of Election voted unanimously on Thursday to fire its chief elections official Robert Brady after the 2,600 uncounted ballots were discovered.

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