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US Presidential Election: Georgia confirms Biden victory after statewide hand recount

November 21, 2020 | 09:15

After six days of hand-counting ballots, Georgia Secretary of State's office reaffirmed on Thursday that President-elect Joe Biden had defeated President Trump in the state.

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Biden beat Trump by 12,284 votes, according to the final results from the audit. This is a slight drop for Biden compared to the pre-audit results, CNN reported.

Officials have said repeatedly that the audit confirmed there was no widespread fraud or irregularities in the election.

Georgia is required under state law to certify its election results by Friday.

"Georgia's historic first statewide audit reaffirmed that the state's new secure paper ballot voting system accurately counted and reported results," Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said in a statement.

"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."

There is no state where the sting of Trump's loss has been more acutely felt than in the red state of Georgia.

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Election workers processing ballots during a recount in Lawrenceville, Ga., on Monday. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. was the first Democrat to win Georgia since 1992. Photo: NYTimes

The suburban revolt against Trump in the suburbs surrounding Atlanta, paired with huge turnout among Black voters, powered Biden's gains in the state, building on years of intensive Democratic organizing to register voters.

The Biden campaign's communications director for Georgia, Jaclyn Rothenberg, said in a statement Thursday evening that the recount outcome, "simply reaffirmed what we already knew: Georgia voters selected Joe Biden to be their next president."

"We are grateful to the election officials, volunteers, and workers for working overtime and under unprecedented circumstances to complete this recount, as the utmost form of public service," she said.

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An election worker looks at a ballot during a hand recount of presidential votes on Sunday. Photo: John Amis/Atlanta Journal & Constitution/The Associated Press

The state is now the center of the political universe because the two US Senate runoff elections will determine which political party controls the Senate.

The President has continued to tweet debunked disinformation about voting software used in the state and objected to the recount as "fake" by tweeting false claims about the state's signature-matching process.

Gabriel Sterling, Georgia's voting system implementation manager, explained to CNN's Anderson Cooper on "AC360" Thursday that "one of the main things that you're looking for when you do this hand audit is to make sure that the items you see on the paper, on the ballot match what the computer says".

"Human beings are looking because, as you know, one of the big complaints is these machines somehow flipped votes or changed votes or did stuff. They didn't, at least not in Georgia," Sterling said. "We proved it."

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U.S. president-elect Joe Biden speaks to reporters following an online meeting with members of the National Governors Association (NGA) executive committee in Wilmington, Del., on Thursday. Photo: Tom Brenner/Reuters

During the weeklong recount, officials in four counties found new batches of votes that weren't counted on Election Day or weren't properly transmitted to the Secretary of State for tallying.

In all, more than 5,800 uncounted votes were uncovered, netting nearly 1,400 new votes for Trump, who falsely said the discoveries were proof of wrongdoing. State officials stressed that these were accidents caused by human error and not indicative of fraud or vote-rigging.

Raffensperger's office called the difference between the audit results and the original machine-counted results "well within the expected margin of human error that occurs when hand-counting ballots."

Ben Adida -- the executive director of the election security nonprofit VotingWorks, which assisted Georgia with the audit -- said in a statement, "Georgia's first statewide audit successfully confirmed the winner of the chosen contest and should give voters increased confidence in the results."

Nikkei Asia: Chinese American Trump supporters raise funds for election recount on WeChat

Chinese American Trump supporters are using WeChat to raise funds for an election recount, according to Nikkei Asia.

President Trump has repeatedly demanded for a recount after calls of election fraud. Whilst the Joe Biden camp has accepted the anticipated result of 306 votes in the Democrats favour to 232, many Republicans are far from satisfied.

WeChat users are using a phenomenon known as “jie long” that copies and edits the pervious person’s message to include their own name and donation before reposting it in the group.

Asian American support for Trump was shown prior to the election, and exit polls suggest that he gained 5% more votes with the demographic in 2020 than he did in 2016.

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Supporters, including a group in Minnesota Chinese Americans for Trump shirts, gather to rally with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in a cargo hangar in Minneapolis before the Nov. 3 election. Photo: Reuters

A WeChat chat thread showed almost 40 pledges to Republican Party fundraising website WinRed. Pledges ranged from a couple of hundred dollars to $4000.

“To be swollen in darkness or conquer the darkness, [that is the question]. It’s no surprise that the Biden team cheated,” one message said.

“The real battle has just begun, President Trump is far from losing.”

The GOP has been sending emails and text messages to their supporters asking for donations to “defend the integrity of our election” with recounts.

However, the fine print states that over half of the donations will go to election campaign debt retirement. The fine print is written in English but 44.7% of Chinese Americans who speak Chinese at home have limited English proficiency.

Chinese Americans have donated over $1 million to President Trump’s campaign this election cycle.

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