WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump suffered a double blow in his desperate bid to overturn the November 3 election results after officials in the battleground state of Georgia certified Joe Biden’s win and top Republican legislators in Michigan said they had no information that would warrant reversing the outcome of the vote in that state.
As Biden prepares to take office on January 20, Trump has refused to concede and his team is seeking to invalidate or reverse the results through lawsuits, recounts and undermining the certification of results in some states, claiming – without proof – widespread voter fraud.
Trump’s critics have called the effort an unprecedented push by a sitting president to subvert the will of the voters.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced on Friday that a manual recount and audit of all ballots cast in the southern state had determined that Biden was the winner.
Biden is the first Democrat to carry Georgia since 1992.
“The numbers reflect the verdict of the people, not a decision by the secretary of state’s office or courts, or of either campaign,” Raffensperger, a Republican and Trump supporter, told reporters. Official figures on the Secretary of State’s Office website showed Biden winning the state by 12,670 votes.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, said he was required by law to formalise the certification of the results, “which paves the way for the Trump campaign to pursue other legal options in a separate recount if they choose”. But he also said the audit showed some errors in the original vote count.
Trump had earlier expressed dismay, saying on Twitter that Georgia officials were refusing “to let us look at signatures which would expose hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots” and give him and his party “a BIG VICTORY”.
The president provided no evidence to back up his claim.