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Presidential race in Georgia likely heading to a recount

By Mark Niesse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(CNT) City News Talk #atlanta-ga

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Friday he expects a recount of the presidential race in Georgia.

State law gives a losing candidate the right to a recount if the margin of defeat is within half of a percent of the total vote. President Donald Trump trailed former Vice President Joe Biden by about 1,500 votes early Friday afternoon, a margin of about 0.03%.

“With a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia,” Raffensperger said at a Capitol press conference. “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, and we’ll defend the integrity of our elections.”

A recount will be conducted if the losing candidate requests it in writing within two days following the certification of the vote. The deadline for Raffensperger to certify Georgia’s vote count is Nov. 20, but he could do so sooner.

Election officials would rescan every paper ballot in the state, including ballots printed by voting computers and absentee ballots. Ballots would not be recounted by hand, according to a State Election Board rule approved this spring.

Besides recounts when a race is within a 0.5% margin, Georgia law also allows recounts to be ordered at the discretion of the secretary of state or county election superintendents, regardless of the margin. Discretionary recounts can be held any time before certification.