Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger has announced that the state’s presidential contest will go to a recount.
Joe Biden took the lead over President Donald Trump in the state on Friday as vote counting continued, with little more than 900 votes separating the candidates after about five million votes were cast in the state.
Raffensberger said that 4,169 votes remain to be counted, and that some 8,000 military absentee ballots are still in the mail and will only be counted if they arrive by the end of the day.
“Right now Georgia remains too close to call,” he said, adding: “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.”
“We are looking at a margin less than a large high school,” Raffensberger’s aide Gabriel Sterling added after the Republican official left without taking questions.
Sterling, who oversees voting for the state, added that the reason for the recount is due to how close the race is, and that they have not seen “any widespread irregularities” that would indicate foul play.
There are two ways of seeking a recount in Georgia. A presidential candidate who loses by 0.5% of the vote or less can force a recount by sending a written request to the secretary of state, or a candidate can ask the secretary of state to conduct one by alleging a “discrepancy or error” in the vote tabulation. In that case, state law gives the secretary discretion about whether to conduct a recount.
Local election officials in Georgia also can conduct recounts in their counties if they think there is a discrepancy in the results.