ATLANTA (NewsNation Now) — Georgia’s governor and top elections official on Friday certified results showing Joe Biden won the presidential race over Republican President Donald Trump.
The final results certified by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had Biden with 2.47 million votes, President Donald Trump with 2.46 million votes and Libertarian Jo Jorgensen with 62,138. That leaves Biden leading by a margin of 12,670 votes or 0.25%.
Raffensperger said during a news conference Friday that he believes the numbers his office has presented are correct. Now, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has until 5 p.m. Saturday to certify the state’s slate of 16 presidential electors. Kemp has called a news conference for 5 p.m. Friday. NewsNation will stream the news conference live right here.
“Working as an engineer throughout my life, I live by the motto that numbers don’t lie,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said during a news conference at the state Capitol earlier Friday. “As secretary of state, I believe that the numbers that we have presented today are correct. The numbers reflect the verdict of the people, not a decision by the secretary of state’s office or of courts or of either campaign.”
Raffensperger also said Friday he plans to propose election-law changes aimed at increasing trust in the results, by allowing state officials to intervene in counties that have systemic problems in administering elections, requiring photo ID for absentee voting and enabling more challenges to voters who might not live where they say.
The full certified results will be published online on the Secretary’s of State website.
Raffensperger, a self-described “passionate conservative,” has endured criticism and insults from fellow Republicans — from the president to the chair of the state Republican Party — over his handling of the election. He acknowledged their feelings on Friday.
“Like other Republicans, I’m disappointed our candidate didn’t win Georgia’s electoral vote. Close elections sow distrust. People feel their side was cheated,” he said.
But Raffensperger, as he had repeatedly done before, defended the integrity of the process and the results.
The hand tally of about 5 million votes stemmed from an audit required by a new state law and wasn’t in response to any suspected problems with the state’s results or an official recount request.
Biden’s win in Georgia marks the first time the Southern State has backed a Democrat for president in nearly 30 years.
The attention now shifts to Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats, both of which ended up on the ballot in 2020. Tight races forced both Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler into runoff elections with Democratic challengers that will be decided Jan. 5.
The Associated Press contributed to this report