The state of Georgia on Friday certified its election results, officially declaring President-elect Joe Biden the winner, CNN reports. Biden won the state by more than 12,000 votes.
“Working as an engineer throughout my life, I live by the motto that numbers don’t lie,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said in a brief press conference earlier Friday morning. “The numbers reflect the verdict of the people, not a decision by the secretary of state’s office, or of courts, or of either campaigns.”
Raffensperger has faced significant criticism from Republicans nationally and within his state, who have alleged widespread impropriety without providing any evidence. The state’s two Republican senators — David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler — called on him to resign.
But Georgia’s chief election officer, who has stressed he’s a supporter of the president, has continually defended the integrity of the election, pushing back against the vague allegations.
“Like other Republicans, I’m disappointed our candidate didn’t win,” Raffensperger said at the Friday press conference. But he stressed the results were accurate.
The certification follows a statewide audit, in which every ballot was re-tallied by hand. The audit, which was conducted to check the accuracy of the initial machine recount, found a very small deviation — nowhere near enough to change results — between the machine count and the hand tally, which was expected.
President Donald Trump’s campaign is still entitled to request a recount, because of the narrowness of the result but a recount would be irrelevant after the audit confirmed the results.