ATLANTA (NewsNation Now) — President Donald Trump’s campaign requested a recount of votes in the Georgia presidential race on Saturday, a day after state officials certified results that showed Democrat Joe Biden won the state, as his legal team presses forward with presidential election challenges.
Georgia’s results showed Biden beating Trump by 12,670 votes out of about 5 million cast, or 0.25%. State law allows a candidate to request a recount if the margin is less than 0.5%. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp formalized the state’s slate of 16 presidential electors.
The Trump campaign sent a hand-delivered letter to the secretary of state’s office requesting the recount.
A Trump legal team statement said: “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. President Trump and his campaign continue to insist on an honest recount in Georgia, which has to include signature matching and other vital safeguards.”
On Saturday, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger sent a written message to his deputy asking him to officially notify county election directors to prepare for the recount and to notify political parties so they could muster observers at the respective sites.
“This will be highly scrutinized so emphasize to the counties the importance of transparency and accuracy of the process,” Raffensperger said in his instructions to his aide.
The recount will be done using scanners that read and tabulate the votes. County election workers have already done a complete hand recount of all the votes cast in the presidential race. But that stemmed from a mandatory audit requirement and isn’t considered an official recount under the law.
State law requires that one race be audited by hand to ensure that the machines counted the ballots accurately, and Raffensperger selected the presidential race. Because of the tight margin in that race, a full hand count of ballots was necessary to complete the audit, he said.
Trump has criticized the audit, calling it a “joke” in a tweet that claimed without evidence that “thousands of fraudulent votes have been found.” Twitter has flagged the post as containing disputed information.
Votes that hadn’t previously been counted were found in several counties during the audit, which required recertification of the election results in those counties before state certification of the results.
A federal judge on Saturday also dismissed the Trump campaign’s cases to stop vote certification in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania officials can now certify election results that currently show Democrat Joe Biden winning the state by more than 80,000 votes.
President-elect Biden has continued to move forward with his transition team and has appointed members of his White House staff.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.