The recount in Georgia was not enough to change the results of the 2020 presidential election, but it was enough to shrink President-elect Joe Biden's lead by about 1,000 votes. Georgia election officials recounted the ballots by hand, discovering over 5,000 votes that had previously gone unreported, according to Forbes. Some of these votes were for President Donald Trump, meaning that he is now projected to lose the state by just under 13,000 votes, instead of 14,000.
Georgia's hand recount is expected to finish up on Wednesday, with a difference of about 1,000 votes compared to the results of the initial count. About 5,600 votes were discovered in Floyd County, Fayette County and Walton County, Georgia, with about 1,300 going to Trump. Election officials say that this is not a sign of widespread voter fraud or election tampering, nor does it justify the president's conspiracy theories about the election as a whole. Gabriel Sterling, a spokesman for the Georgia Secretary of State, said that those who work in elections professionally often expect discrepancies on this scale.
"In every single election in the history of mankind, there will be illegal votes cast," Sterling said on Tuesday. "We have seen nothing that indicates that there is such a high percentage [of illegal votes] that it would change the outcome of the vote."
Most counties in Georgia reported very few errors after their hand-recount, many reported zero difference from the initial count at all. While Trump and his supporters were fired up about the news from Georgia on Wednesday, others pointed the finger back at the Republican party, due to the report that South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham allegedly instructed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to throw out absentee ballots where possible.
"During our discussion, he asked if ballots could be matched back to the envelope — the absentee ballots could be matched back to the envelope," Raffensperger told CBS This Morning. "I explained our process, after it went through two sets of signature match, at that point they were separated. But then Senator Graham implied for us to audit the envelopes and then throw out the ballots for counties who have the highest frequency error of signatures. I tried to help explain that because we did signature match, you couldn't tie the signatures back anymore to those ballots."
Raffensberger assured reporters that "We want to make sure that every legal vote counts and every illegal vote doesn't count," with no partisan interference on either side. Like many other election officials around the country, Raffensperger is urging calm, and doing everything in his power to prove that this was a free and fair election, in spite of the president's accusations.