MONROE, Ga. — The audit of 5 million votes confirmed Joe Biden carried Georgia in the Nov. 3 election.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said the risk-limiting audit confirmed the Democrat’s close victory over President Donald Trump.
The audit showed Biden winning by 12,284 votes. He originally looked to win by 12,780 votes, meaning Trump picked up 496 votes.
Trump, the Republican incumbent, added 86 votes to his margin in Walton County after a memory card at the Between precinct was not loaded on election night. The Walton County Board of Elections certified the local results Tuesday, Chairwoman Lori Wood said.
“Georgia’s historic first statewide audit reaffirmed that the state’s new secure paper ballot voting system accurately counted and reported results,” Raffensperger said. “This is a credit to the hard work of our county and local elections officials who moved quickly to undertake and complete such a momentous task in a short period of time.”
Ben Adida, the executive director of VotingWorks, a nonprofit that works to build secure voting systems and worked with the state on the audit, said the effort was a success.
“The difference between the reported results and the full manual tally is well within the expected error rate of hand-counting ballots, and the audit was a success,” Adida said.
Trump’s campaign still may request a recount after Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp certify the results, because the margin is less than 0.5%. A recount would be conducted by rescanning all paper ballots.
Meanwhile, a federal judge tossed a lawsuit Thursday to block the state from certifying the results.
The suit, brought by Atlanta attorney Lin Wood, sought a restraining order to halt the results’ certification and compel another hand recount of Georgia’s more than 5 million ballots, despite the fact a hand recount was done as part of an expanded audit of the results over the past week.
U.S. District Judge Steven Grimberg dismissed the case after a nearly three-hour hearing in which he found Wood brought no real evidence or proof that he had been harmed by alleged issues with Georgia’s election system.
“To halt the certification at literally the 11th hour would breed confusion and potential disenfranchisement that I find has no basis in fact or in law,” said Grimberg, who is a Trump appointee.
Attorneys representing Wood alleged outside monitors were kept too much at arms-length from observing the recount and took aim at a recent legal settlement making it tougher to reject absentee ballots due to invalid signatures.
Attorneys for Carr and Raffensperger, both prominent Georgia Republicans, were joined by legal teams for the Democratic Party of Georgia and the NAACP’s Georgia chapter, marking an unusual cast of co-defendants attempting to defeat a Trump-backed suit.