President Donald Trump is going to make Georgia prove that the razor-thin margin by which current results show him losing the state to Democrat Joe Biden holds up under scrutiny.
Trump’s campaign announced Saturday that it wants a recount that includes signature matching, one of the key criteria designed to determine whether mail-in ballots are genuine.
After the first recount was completed Friday, Biden led Trump by 12,670 votes out of almost 5 million votes cast.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said that the Trump campaign was within its rights under Georgia law to seek a review of the ballots.
“Because the margin is still less than 0.5 percent, the President can request a recount after certification of the results. That recount will be conducted by rescanning all paper ballots,” he said in a statement Friday, according to National Review.
The campaign jumped at the chance on Saturday.
“Today, the Trump campaign filed a petition for recount in Georgia. We are focused on ensuring that every aspect of Georgia State Law and the U.S. Constitution are followed so that every legal vote is counted,” the campaign said in a statement.
“President Trump and his campaign continue to insist on an honest recount in Georgia, which has to include signature matching and other vital safeguards. Without signature matching, this recount would be a sham and again allow for illegal votes to be counted. If there is no signature matching, this would be as phony as the initial vote count and recount,” the campaign said.
“Let’s stop giving the People false results. There must be a time when we stop counting illegal ballots. Hopefully it is coming soon,” the campaign’s statement said.
The Trump campaign alleges there has been voter fraud in states that include Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as Pennsylvania. Despite multiple anecdotal claims of voting irregularities, proof has yet to surface that there was a widespread effort to distort the voting process in such a way that would have impacted the final results of the presidential election.
Although caches of ballots were found uncounted in two Georgia counties, officials said those results were not enough to change to the overall outcome of the election.
Jaclyn Rothenberg, a spokeswoman for the Biden campaign, said another recount would “simply reaffirm Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia a third time,” according to Fox News.
“Last week’s recount reaffirmed what we already knew: Georgia voters selected Joe Biden to be their next president. As the secretary of state said, there is no reason to believe there are widespread errors or fraud and the Trump campaign has no evidence to back up their baseless claims,” she said.
Although the results of the election were certified Friday in keeping with state law, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp said he was not happy with the situation, according to WXFG-TV.
Kemp said the recount only examined ballots, not signatures on the absentee ballot applications or those on the envelopes in which those ballots were returned.
“The Georgians I have heard from are extremely concerned about this. So I encourage Secretary Raffensperger to consider addressing these concerns. It seems simple enough to conduct a sample audit of signatures on the absentee ballot envelopes and compare those to the signatures on applications and on file at the Secretary of State’s office,” he said.
Kemp noted that getting the process right is critical in a state that will hold two special elections for the U.S. Senate in January.
“Every legal vote must be counted and the security of the ballot box must be protected. As governor, I have a solemn responsibility to follow the law and that is what I will continue to do,” he said.
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