U.S. President-elect Joe Biden was declared the winner of Georgia Thursday after a statewide manual recount confirmed his narrow lead over President Trump in the presidential race.
Georgia was the final state to be called by the Associated Press as it awaited the results of the audit, which was ordered by the state’s top election official to assure the integrity of the initial election results.
Biden is the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the traditionally Republican stronghold since Bill Clinton in 1992. Georgia is also now the fifth state to be flipped from Trump’s electoral wins in 2016.
With Georgia’s 16 electoral votes, Biden is now projected to have won the election with 306 votes compared to Trump’s 232, well above the 270 votes needed to secure a victory in the Electoral College.
The highly anticipated recount report was released Thursday evening amid a contentious battle over the results of the election, which Biden was already projected to have won nearly two weeks ago.
Biden’s lead over Trump in the traditionally Republican-leaning state was roughly 13,000 votes before Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger ordered the audit of all five million ballots cast for president.
The final results now show that lead largely unchanged, with Trump improving his vote total by just under one per cent.
“Georgia’s historic first statewide audit reaffirmed that the state’s new secure paper ballot voting system accurately counted and reported results,” Raffensperger said in a statement.
No individual county showed a variation in margin larger than 0.73 per cent, and the variation in margin in 103 of the state’s 159 counties was less than 0.05 per cent, a memo released with the results says.