Georgia Will Hand Audit Presidential Ballots: Election UpdateNovember 12, 2020
Georgia will do a hand audit of ballots in the presidential race. And a win in Alaska brings Republicans to 50 senators.
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Georgia Will Do Hand Audit of Presidential Ballots
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Wednesday that state election officials will do a hand audit of presidential election ballots, one week after some 5 million of the state’s residents cast votes.
Raffensperger said that because of the narrow margin in the race, the state would begin a county-by-county hand audit, which will take a couple of weeks to complete. President-elect Joe Biden currently leads by a margin of about 14,000 votes, the secretary of state said.
Raffensperger said the state plans to have the recount completed by Nov. 20, the deadline for certification.
Raffensperger called the review an “audit, canvas and recount” all in one.
Raffensperger, a Republican, was criticized this week by fellow state Republican leaders, who called for his resignation for his handling of the election.
The Trump campaign hailed the decision in a Twitter message.
Trump and some of his supporters have alleged election fraud in Georgia, but have provided little evidence. In his press conference Wednesday, Raffensperger said that if anyone has evidence or suspects illegal voting, “bring it to us.” — Brett Pulley
Alaska Win Brings Republicans to 50 Senators (10:07 a.m.)
Republican Dan Sullivan has won a Senate race in Alaska, bringing the GOP to 50 votes in the upper chamber.
That means majority control will depend on the winners of two runoffs in Georgia.
If Democrats win both, the chamber will be tied 50-50, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote. But if they lose either one, Republicans will control the majority as President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
Trump also easily picked up Alaska’s three electors with 57% of the vote.
Alaska was called late because state law required local officials carefully examine each mail-in ballot before counting could officially begin on Tuesday.
Trump’s Not the Only Candidate Who Won’t Concede (9:42 a.m.)
Trump is again setting a new trend, as Republican Senate candidates in Arizona and Michigan won’t concede their races.
In Arizona, Senator-elect Mark Kelly is ahead by 79,887 votes, but Senator Martha McSally has not acknowledged that she lost.
In 2018, by contrast, McSally posted a video of her with her dog conceding the race and congratulating Democrat Kyrsten Sinema at a time when she was down about 38,000 votes. She was then appointed to the other Senate seat, which she lost this month.
In Michigan, Republican Senate candidate John James won’t concede to Democratic Senator Gary Peters, who is ahead by 84,315 votes, as his advisers havefloated conspiracy theories about voter fraud online.
By contrast, Jamesconceded to Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow after a 2018 matchup, saying in an election night speech at his family business that his “passion for service doesn’t end with a poll or end with a vote.”
Recounts Unlikely to Help Trump in Bid to Overturn Election Result (7:42 a.m.)
The Trump campaign is considering requesting recounts in at least two states, but President-elect Joe Biden’s lead is big enough it’s unlikely to make a difference.
In Georgia, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has said the state will go ahead with a recount. But Biden currently has a lead of 12,651 votes which is unlikely to be overturned by a recount.
In Wisconsin, the Trump campaign said it would pursue a recount, which it will have to pay for. Biden’s lead is 20,540 votes. By comparison, a recount of the 2016 results in that state netted Trump just 131 votes.
In Arizona, the legal bar for a recount is strict, requiring the margin of victory to be just 200 or fewer votes. While Biden’s lead there shrank as more ballots came in, he’s still ahead by 12,813 votes, making a recount extremely unlikely.
Trump would need to overturn the results in all three states — or through lawsuits in Pennsylvania or Michigan — in order to prevail in the Electoral College.
Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will visit Arlington National Cemetery to observe Veterans Day.
— With assistance by Brett Pulley, and Jennifer Epstein
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