VOTE 20

Georgia Will Likely Recount Votes As Biden Takes Narrow Lead, Official Says

Democratic nominee Joe Biden took a narrow lead in the state early Friday morning, further underscoring his growing edge in key swing states.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden greets supporters at a drive-in rally at Cellairis Amphitheatre in Atlanta, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. | AP Images
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden greets supporters at a drive-in rally at Cellairis Amphitheatre in Atlanta, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. | AP Images

Georgia’s Secretary of State said Friday that the state will likely recount votes in the presidential election after Democratic nominee Joe Biden took a narrow lead in the morning. Biden has maintained an electoral and popular vote lead over President Trump, gaining more edge as he also surpassed Trump’s lead in Pennsylvania on Friday.

“As we are closing in on a final count, we can begin to look toward our next steps,” Sect. Brad Raffensperger told reporters. “With a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia… The final tally in Georgia at this point has huge implications for the entire country.”

If Biden wins in either Georgia or Pennsylvania, his projected electoral vote total will exceed the 270 needed to defeat President Trump. The former vice president had a 1,564-vote lead over Trump as of Friday at noon, according to the Associated Press. 

Under Georgia state law, a losing candidate can request a recount if the opponent has a less than 0.5% margin of victory. The losing candidate must request the recount within two days of the state calling final results. 

Trump's campaign filed its third lawsuit related to ballot processing on Wednesday in Georgia, following other legal action in Pennsylvania and Michigan, two key states. Judges in Georgia and Michigan dismissed the lawsuits on Thursday.

Biden’s leads in Pennsylvania and Georgia came after Trump gave a lie-filled speech from the White House attacking the electoral process and repeating baseless claims about voter fraud.

The president’s campaign put out another statement Friday saying, “This election is not over.” The statement contained further unsubstantiated claims about “ballots improperly harvested” in Georgia and “many irregularities” in Pennsylvania.

The president has repeatedly refused to commit to peacefully transfer power, and multiple outlets have reported he won’t concede the election even if his path to victory is unviable.

The Biden campaign put out a statement Friday: “As we said on July 19th, the American people will decide this election. And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.”

If Biden wins Georgia, he would be the first Democratic presidential candidate to take the Peach State since 1992. At an Atlanta rally in October, Biden predicted, “We win Georgia, we win everything.” 

Black voters appear to have played a significant role in the results in Georgia and reportedly turned out in historic numbers this year. The state saw long lines during early voting and, in recent elections, has faced accusations of voter suppression that disproportionately affects communities of color.

Allan Piper contributed to this report.