Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office says it certified the state’s election results on Friday, confirming that presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden won the state’s 16 Electoral College votes after a statewide audit.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Raffensperger had called himself a “passionate conservative” and a “proud Trump supporter.”
“Like other Republicans, I’m disappointed our candidate didn’t win Georgia’s electoral votes,” he said. “Close elections sow distrust. People feel their side was cheated. We saw this from the Democrats in 2018, and we see this from Republicans today.”
That’s a reference to Democrat Stacey Abrams, who declined to formally concede to Gov. Brian Kemp after the 2018 gubernatorial race.
“Working as an engineer throughout my life, I live by the motto that numbers don’t lie,” Mr. Raffensperger said. “As secretary of state, I believe that the numbers that we have presented today are correct.”
He said the numbers “reflect the verdict of the people.”
A statewide audit showed Mr. Biden won the state over President Trump by a little more than 12,000 votes, or about 0.2 percentage points.
Mr. Trump netted about 1,200 votes during the statewide audit compared to earller, unofficial results.
“The audit revealed that in some counties, not all the votes had been counted,” Mr. Raffensperger said. “That doesn’t mean those counties had systemic problems, but it does raise a concern. We must implement a reconciliation process that prevents such errors from happening in the future.”
By law, Georgia’s results were supposed to be certified by 5 p.m. Friday.
The Trump campaign said Thursday evening that it’s not over and that they will pursue all “legal options” to make sure only legal ballots are counted.
The losing candidate - in this case Mr. Trump — has two business days to request another recount.
GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who are facing runoff elections on Jan. 5, have called for Mr. Raffensperger to step down, saying he failed to deliver “honest and transparent” elections.
Some Republicans, angered at Mr. Trump’s loss in the state, have also directed their ire at Mr. Kemp, who is one of the president’s staunchest allies.
Mr. Raffensperger has suggested that the president has only himself to blame, saying that there were about 24,000 Republican voters who voted absentee in the June primary earlier this year but did not vote, either absentee or in person, in the general election.
He also suggested this week that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called him to ask about ways to potentially toss out legally cast ballots.
Mr. Graham, who has acknowledged reaching out to other election officials in states where Mr. Trump narrowly lost, said that was ridiculous.