On Friday morning (Nov. 6), hours after Joe Biden took the lead in Georgia for the first time, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced there will be a recount of the ballots. The Republican official explained that it was necessary as the election margin between Donald Trump and the Democratic presidential candidate was too slim.
“The focus for our office and for the county elections officials for now remains on making sure that every legal vote is counted and recorded accurately,” Raffensperger said during a press conference. “As we are closing in on a final count, we can begin to look toward our next steps. With a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia.”
“Interest in our election obviously goes far beyond Georgia’s borders,” he continued. “The final tally in Georgia at this point has huge implications for the entire country.”
“We are literally looking at a margin of less than a large high school,” added Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system implementation manager. “When you have a narrow margin, little, small things can make a difference. So, everything’s going to have to be investigated to protect the integrity of the vote.”
Candidates can reportedly request a recount if the margin is less than 0.5 percent, but it can only be requested after the election is certified, a process that will be finalized on Nov. 20. A recount may not be completed until the end of the month.
As of this morning, roughly 1,600 votes separated the two presidential candidates, with 4,169 votes that must still be calculated, per the Associated Press. An “unknowable amount” of outstanding ballots could also be counted.
Earlier this week, Trump filed a lawsuit against Georgia, alleging 53 absentee ballots in Georgia’s Chatham County were improperly counted. A judge later dismissed the suit without an explanation. State officials later clarified that all ballots were received on time, noting there are no “widespread irregulaties” in the calculation.