Georgia’s secretary of state ordered a recount of the votes in the state, but it is so far not expected to change the result
Donald Trump’s fervent campaigning to undermine mail-in voting may have ultimately cost him victory in the crucial swing state of Georgia, its Republican secretary of state has said.
While the state is undergoing a recount, Joe Biden leads Georgia by around 13,000 votes, meaning he is poised to become the first Democrat to claim victory there in decades.
Georgia’s leading election official Brad Raffensperger, who has already faced the ire of Trump supporters for projecting a Biden victory in the state before a recount is complete, said the outgoing president’s unsubstantiated claims about the vulnerability of mail-in voting likely suppressed about 24,500 Republicans from casting their ballots.
“He would have won by 10,000 votes [but] he actually suppressed, depressed his own voting base,” Mr Raffensperger said in an interview with WSB TV.
The secretary of state’s office went on to say that “ill-advised actions” during the campaign period contributed to suppressing the Republican vote.
Mr Raffensperger, who ordered a by-hand audit of Georgia’s 5 million ballots due to the tightness of the result, said he does not expect significant changes in the vote totals. The recounting process is expected to end by Wednesday night.
Mr Raffensperger also claimed that Trump-supporting senator Lindsey Graham tried to make him disqualify absentee ballots, according to Bloomberg. He called it the campaign of “misinformation, disinformation and outright lies about the process in Georgia”.
As soon as Mr Biden led MrTrump by more than 14,000 votes in Georgia and was projected as the winner in the state, the incumbent accused Mr Biden of election fraud without providing evidence to substantiate support claims. His campaign is trying to challenge the overall election results by filing lawsuits in various states.
As proof of voting irregularities, the Trump campaign has pointed to news that Floyd County discovered almost 2,600 uncounted ballots during Tuesday’s audit.. The new votes favour Trump by around 2 to 1, though the development won’t materially impact the result of the election in the state.
Mr Raffensperger is facing the pressure from Republicans to overturn the result as it stands. He has been asked by two Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, to tender his resignation.
The secretary of state said the final result will reassure people that every legal vote has been counted and that his office is making sure that it’s a thorough process so that it cannot be called into question afterwards.