“The Governor has formalized the certification delivered to our office by the Secretary of State — as is required by state law,” Kemp spokesman Tate Mitchell told CNN in an email.
The certification is a major blow to President Donald Trump’s longshot efforts to overturn the outcome of the election in Georgia, and all but seals Biden’s razor-thin win in the state.
“State law now requires the governor’s office to formalize the certification, which paves the way for the Trump campaign to pursue other legal options and a separate recount if they choose,” Kemp said, later adding, “As governor, I have a solemn responsibility to follow the law, and that is what I will do.”
The announcement caps a whirlwind day where Raffensperger’s office announced that the results were certified, only to send a “correction” one hour later, saying the process was still ongoing. A third press release around 4 p.m. ET, said certification was completed.
Biden won Georgia by 12,670 votes, or 0.26% of the nearly 5 million ballots cast statewide, according to final certified results from the Georgia Secretary of State.
“Numbers don’t lie,” Raffensperger said during a news conference earlier Friday. “As secretary of state, I believe that the numbers that we are presented today are correct.”
Because of the close margin, the Trump campaign can request a recount. Georgia already conducted a statewide audit, hand-counting about 5 million ballots, and any future recount is extremely unlikely to change the results.
Certifying election results is typically a formality, but the process has become the latest battleground in Trump’s longshot attempt to cling onto power. His campaign is trying to block or delay certification in key states in hopes of overturning Biden’s victory through the Electoral College.
The scheme essentially becomes impossible if key states certify their presidential results before December 8, which is known as a “safe harbor” deadline under federal law. Now that Georgia has certified its results, the state has met the deadline and Congress is required to respect the pro-Biden slate of electors.
While going through the motions of formalizing Biden’s win, Kemp simultaneously raised concerns about the integrity of the process and even embraced some of Trump’s complaints about the process in Georgia.
Kemp asked Raffensperger to conduct a partial audit of absentee ballots to double-check that the signatures matched — caving to a persistent demand from Trump throughout the post-election process. It’s unclear if this can happen at this stage of the process, and CNN has reached out to Raffensperger’s office for comment.
This story has been updated with additional developments on Friday.
CNN’s Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.
, 2020-11-21 03:00:18