Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday signed the paperwork that formally grants the state’s 16 electoral votes to President-elect Joe Biden.
“The Governor has formalized the certification delivered to our workplace by the Secretary of State – as is required by state regulation,” Kemp spokesperson Tate Mitchell informed CNN in an e-mail.
Earlier on Friday, Kemp introduced he would “observe the regulation” and certify the electoral votes for Biden.
State regulation requires Kemp, a Republican, to award Georgia’s electoral votes to the licensed winner of the presidential election. A federal choose on Thursday rejected a last-ditch lawsuit that attempted to dam certification, and Biden’s victory was licensed Friday afternoon by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
“Earlier at present, Secretary Raffensperger introduced the licensed outcomes of the 2020 basic election to my workplace,” Kemp mentioned at a information convention. “Following Decide (Steven) Grimberg’s ruling yesterday, state regulation now requires the governor’s workplace to formalize the certification, which paves the way in which for the Trump marketing campaign to pursue different authorized choices and a separate recount in the event that they select.”
Kemp later added, “As governor, I’ve a solemn accountability to observe the regulation, and that’s what I’ll do.”
Due to the shut margin, the Trump marketing campaign can request a recount. Georgia already carried out a statewide audit, hand-counting about 5 million ballots, to any future recount is extraordinarily unlikely to alter the outcomes.
Certifying election outcomes is sometimes a formality, however the course of has grow to be the newest battleground in President Trump’s longshot try to cling onto energy. His marketing campaign is making an attempt to dam or delay certification in key states in hopes of overturning Biden’s victory via the Electoral School.
After the information convention, Kemp’s workplace put out a information launch saying, explicitly, “Governor Kemp Formalizes Election Certification.” However Kemp additionally embraced a few of Trump’s complaints concerning the course of in Georgia.
Kemp requested Raffensperger to conduct a partial audit of absentee ballots to double-check that the signatures matched – caving to a persistent demand from Trump all through the post-election course of. It’s unclear if this could occur at this stage of the method, and CNN has reached out to Raffensperger’s workplace for remark.
Trump has berated Kemp on Twitter over the signature-matching difficulty, blaming the governor for a authorized settlement the state reached earlier this yr with Democratic teams relating to absentee ballots. Raffensberger’s workplace has mentioned Trump is mischaracterizing that settlement, often known as a consent decree, by falsely claiming it weakened verification guidelines for absentee ballots. Signature-matching is used to confirm the identification of absentee voters.
Kemp additionally mentioned it was “unacceptable” that small batches of uncounted ballots have been discovered through the audit. Election officers have repeatedly mentioned these mishandled ballots have been attributable to errors and incompetence – not fraud.