President Trump still refuses to concede the 2020 election to Joe Biden, citing widespread voter fraud cases delegitimizing many of Biden’s razor-thin leads. The state of Georgia conducted a recount under a legal request from the Trump campaign. Any Presidential candidate may request a re-tallying of the ballots provided that the margin is within one percent.
A press release from Georgia’s Secretary of State office confirmed that election officials concluded the statewide audit, reporting Biden as the winner with a 12,284-vote lead. President Trump responded, brooding on Twitter over the “fake” recount, and disparaging the voting software used in Georgia and many other states.
Trump claims voting software technical glitches occurring on and after election day was far more insidious than at face value. According to the President, the Democratic party manipulated millions of votes via the voting software in a concerted effort to aid and abet the Biden campaign.
So far, officials from both sides of the aisle tend to scrutinize these claims. In the Georgia recount, around 5,400 untallied votes were uncovered. However, only about 1400 of those votes went towards Donald Trump.
Georgia’s voting system implementation manager, Gabriel Sterling, commented in a CNN interview, “one of the main things that you’re looking for when you do this hand audit is to make sure that the items you see on the paper, on the ballot, match what the computer says.”
“Human beings are looking because, as you know, 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,” Sterling said. “We proved it.”
The more likely cited reason for Donald Trump’s loss in Georgia boils down to demographics. Georgia has a thriving black community, tending to lean Democratic. Atlanta is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the US. Moreover, white suburban populations that voted Republican in 2016 likely voted Democratic this election cycle.
The Trump campaign abandoned its efforts in Georgia and moved on to another spate of lawsuits in Michigan. Does the Trump team genuinely believe the unlikely narrative that Democrats organized a coordinated attack on the voting system? Maybe, maybe not.
One possible rationale comes in the form of the “safe harbor” deadline of December 8th, reminiscent of the hanging chad controversy over Florida’s 2000 recount. Federal law essentially mandates a deadline for when states have to pledge their slate of electors to one candidate.
Although mired in legal ambiguities, if that doesn’t happen in a state by December 8th, say because of oh I don’t know, a string of baseless lawsuits delaying the count, then that state’s legislature may bypass the vote and pledge their own slate of electors to whichever candidate they desire. Georgia, which has a substantially red legislature, might have been able to do such a thing, but officials report that they will send their electors today.