May 22, 2024
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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger attends a news conference in Atlanta on November 11.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger attends a news conference in Atlanta on November 11. Brynn Anderson/AP

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Friday that he’ll certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory later in the day, and will formalize the razor-thin presidential results after a statewide audit.

Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs said certification will occur around 10 a.m. ET Friday.

Raffensperger, a Republican, told reporters that the audit confirmed that Georgia’s voters picked Biden.

“Numbers don’t lie,” he said. “As Secretary of State, I believe that the numbers that we are presented today are correct.”

Perhaps in a move to pacify Trump supporters, Raffensperger said, “Like other Republicans, I’m disappointed our candidate didn’t win Georgia’s electoral votes.”

When the results are certified, it will be a major blow to Trump’s longshot efforts to overturn the election results. Certifying election results is typically a formality, but the arcane process has become the latest battleground in Trump’s attempt to cling onto power.

His campaign is trying to block or delay certification in key states in hopes of overturning Biden’s victory through the Electoral College.

The scheme essentially becomes impossible if key states certify their presidential results before Dec. 8, which is known as a “safe harbor” deadline under federal law. Georgia has now certified its results, which means it met the deadline and that Congress is required to respect these results.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, has until 5 p.m. ET Saturday to sign the paperwork that officially grants Georgia’s 16 electors to Biden, according to state law. Kemp has been relatively quiet during the post-election audit, and CNN has asked his office if he plans to sign the paperwork without incident.

A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit to delay Georgia’s certification. The case was brought by one of the potential Republican electors, and the Trump campaign was not officially involved. Lin Wood, who brought the lawsuit, would have served as a pro-Trump elector if Trump won Georgia.