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Georgia secretary of state recertifies election results after recount

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) recertified the results of the state’s presidential election on Monday after a recount completed last week reaffirmed President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBudowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit DC might win US House vote if it tries Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman inks deal with IMG Models MORE’s victory.

“It’s been 34 days since the election on Nov. 3,” Raffensperger said at a news conference at the Georgia Capitol earlier in the day. “We have now counted legally cast ballots three times and the results remain unchanged.”

The recertification of the results amounted to a major blow to President TrumpDonald TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE’s efforts to overturn the results of the presidential race. Trump has repeatedly refused to acknowledge his loss to Biden and has falsely claimed that the election outcome was marred by widespread voter fraud and systemic irregularities.

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But the recount in Georgia — the state’s second in a matter of weeks — confirmed once again that Biden beat Trump by roughly 12,000 votes, making him the first Democratic presidential candidate in nearly three decades to carry the traditionally Republican-leaning state.

The recertification of the election results came on the same day that a federal judge tossed out a lawsuit filed by conservative attorney Sydney Powell that sought to overturn Biden’s victory in Georgia. Raffensperger touted the dismissal and the vote certification as win, saying in a statement that his state could now move past the election drama.

“Today is an important day for election integrity in Georgia and across the country,” Raffensperger said. “The claims in the Kraken lawsuit prove to be as mythological as the creature for which they’re named. Georgians can now move forward knowing that their votes, and only their legal votes, were counted accurately, fairly, and reliably.”

Raffensperger, who has forcefully defended the integrity of the presidential election in Georgia, reiterated on Monday that while state investigators are still looking into some allegations of illegal voting, there is no evidence of widespread fraud or malfeasance.

To suggest otherwise, he said, is harmful to the state of Georgia.

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“All this talk of a stolen election, whether it’s Stacey Abrams or the president of the United States, is hurting our state,” Raffensperger said at the news conference, referring to the former Democratic gubernatorial candidate who did not concede the 2018 governor’s race to Gov. Brian KempBrian KempTrump establishes 'Office of the Former President' in Florida A better response to political violence in America Refreshing the tree of liberty MORE (R) after falling short in the vote count.

Raffensperger’s announcement that he would recertify his state’s election results came a day before the Dec. 8 safe harbor deadline, the federal deadline by which states must resolve all election-related disputes. The Electoral College is scheduled to meet on Dec. 14 to formally choose Biden as the next president.

Despite the coming deadline, Trump has continued his push to overturn the election results. On Friday, his campaign filed a challenge to the election in Georgia, asking a state court to vacate the certification of the presidential election results and order a new vote in the state.

Trump also called Kemp on Saturday to demand that he call a special session of the Georgia General Assembly in an effort to overturn the election results. Kemp rebuffed the president’s demand, saying in a joint statement with Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) on Monday that using the legislature to override the state’s election processes would violate the law.

“Any attempt by the legislature to retroactively change that process for the November 3rd election would be unconstitutional and immediately enjoined by the courts, resulting in a long legal dispute and no short-term resolution,” Kemp and Duncan said.

“The judicial system remains the only viable – and quickest – option in disputing the results of the November 3rd election in Georgia.”

Updated: 2:56 p.m.