US election 2020: Biden wins Georgia recount as Trump setbacks mount

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US President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia has been confirmed by a recount, as legal efforts by Donald Trump’s allies to challenge his defeat were dismissed in three states.

The Democrat beat his Republican rival in Georgia by 12,284 votes, according to the audit required by state law.

Mr Biden said Mr Trump knew he was not going to win and had shown “incredible irresponsibility” by not conceding.

The Democrat is set to take office in January as the 46th US president.

Mr Biden’s victory margin in the public vote overall stands at more than 5.9 million. His victory in the US Electoral College system, which determines who becomes president, is projected to be 306 to 232 – far above the 270 he needs to win.

Mr Trump has so far refused to concede and has made allegations of widespread electoral fraud, without providing any evidence.

What happened in Georgia?

On Thursday, Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, said the hand audit of ballots had not altered Mr Biden’s victory in the state.

“Georgia’s historic first statewide audit reaffirmed that the state’s new secure paper ballot voting system accurately counted and reported results,” Mr Raffensberger, 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.”

The Democrats’ victory is their first in a presidential race in Georgia since Bill Clinton was elected in 1992.

The recount found the error rate was no greater than 0.73% in any county and Mr Biden’s margin of victory over Mr Trump remained at under 0.5%. The results will be certified on Friday.

Trump campaign senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis said the audit had gone “exactly as we expected” because, she said without evidence, the state had recounted illegal ballots.

But Gabriel Sterling, a Republican who serves as Georgia’s voting system implementation manager, told CNN on Thursday: “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. We proved it.”

During the audit this week, nearly 6,000 untallied votes were found – paring back Mr Biden’s lead slightly – but they were the result of human error and not fraud, Mr Sterling has said.

Officials in Floyd County have fired their election manager over the matter, local media reported on Thursday.

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