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Georgia confirms Biden victory

Georgia confirms Biden victory
US President-elect Joe Biden speaking about health care and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) at the theatre serving as his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, US, November 10, 2020. (Reuters)

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President Donald Trump’s desperate bid to overturn the November 3 election result was dealt another blow on Friday after it was announced he had lost Georgia, while the winner, President-elect Joe Biden, filled more jobs in his incoming U.S. administration.

Biden, a Democrat, is preparing to take office on January 20, but Trump, a Republican, has refused to concede and is seeking to invalidate or reverse the results through lawsuits and recounts in a number of states, claiming – without proof – widespread voter fraud.

That effort, which Trump’s critics have called an unprecedented push by a sitting president to subvert the will of the voters, has met with little success, as the Trump campaign suffered a string of legal and political defeats.

It received more bad news on Friday when Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced that a manual recount and audit of all ballots cast in the southern state had determined that Biden was the winner.

Biden is the first Democrat to carry Georgia since 1992.

“The numbers reflect the verdict of the people, not a decision by the secretary of state’s office or courts, or of either campaign,” Raffensperger, a Republican and Trump supporter, told reporters. Official figures on the Secretary of State’s website showed Biden winning the state by 12 670 votes.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, said he was required by law to formalise the certification of the results, “which paves the way for the Trump campaign to pursue other legal options in a separate recount if they choose”. But he also said the audit showed some errors in the original vote count.

Trump had earlier expressed dismay, saying on Twitter that Georgia officials were refusing “to let us look at signatures which would expose hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots” and give him and his party “a BIG VICTORY”.

The president provided no evidence to back up his claim.

Trump, in his first public comments in days about the election outcome, again asserted “I won” as he strayed from the theme of a White House event on lowering drug prices. But he also seemed to acknowledge the possibility he might not stay in power, saying pharmaceutical companies had opposed his pricing reform and, “I just hope they keep it.”

Having been stung by a series of court defeats, the Trump team is resting its hopes on getting Republican-controlled legislatures in battleground states won by Biden to set aside the results and declare Trump the winner, according to three people familiar with the plan.

It is focusing on Michigan and Pennsylvania for now, but even if both those states flipped to the president he would need to overturn the vote in another state to vault ahead of Biden in the Electoral College.

Such an extraordinary event would be unprecedented in modern U.S. history. Trump not only would need three state legislatures to intervene against vote counts as they stand now, but then also have those actions upheld by Congress and, almost certainly, the U.S. Supreme Court. (Reuters)