Kemp recertifies Biden win in Georgia after recount
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has recertified the results of his state’s presidential election after a recount upheld President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state.
The certification late Monday deals a final blow to President Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results in Georgia. Tuesday marks the federal safe harbor date by which all states are required to have resolved any election-related disputes.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger certified the recount results earlier on Monday.
Trump has repeatedly and falsely claimed that the election results in Georgia and other battleground states that he lost to Biden were marred by widespread voter fraud and systemic irregularities. He has also sought to pressure Kemp to call a special session of the Georgia state legislature to overturn Biden’s win.
But the president has seen little success in his bid to undo his loss. A recount of the vote in Georgia requested by his campaign last month and completed last week reaffirmed Biden’s victory in the state, making him the first Democratic presidential candidate since 1992 to carry what was once a Republican stronghold.
The recount — the second in a matter of weeks — showed Biden leading Trump by roughly 12,000 votes.
Despite Biden’s clear lead in the electoral vote, Trump has refused to concede the election, insisting that legal challenges filed by his campaign and allies would eventually prevail.
But Republicans were dealt another blow on Monday when a federal judge tossed out a lawsuit filed by conservative attorney Sidney Powell that sought to overturn the election results.
With the vote in Georgia certified once again, the state’s 16 electors are set to cast their votes for Biden when the Electoral College meets next week.
Trump has repeatedly attacked Kemp and other top Republican officials in Georgia in recent weeks, accusing them without evidence of mismanaging the election and failing to clamp down on voter fraud. Kemp, who was endorsed by Trump during his 2018 bid for governor, has ardently defended his state’s handling of the election and has insisted that he has followed the law laid out by the state legislature.
The certification of the recount results, however, is likely to prompt further criticism from Trump and could worsen divides in the Georgia GOP ahead of two critical Senate runoff elections in January. Those runoffs will ultimately determine the balance of power in the upper chamber in 2021 and beyond.
Kemp is also likely to face political trouble of his own in the coming years. He is up for reelection in 2022 and some Republicans have already begun to call for him to face a primary challenger. Trump himself floated the idea during a rally in Georgia on Saturday, suggesting that Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), a staunch ally, should run for governor in two years.
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