With Georgia in the midst of a massive manual recount of votes cast in the Nov. 3 election, pro-Trump supporters were fired up on Wednesday (November 18) and rallied outside the State Capitol in Atlanta.
Holding U.S. and Trump flags and banners, the largely maskless crowd chanted ‘stop the steal’ as President-elect Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by some 14,000 votes. While staying out of the public eye, Trump has persisted in venting his anger on Twitter, where he made claims of election fraud, some of which were unsupported by evidence and others demonstrably untrue.
Trump has refused to concede to Biden and claims without evidence that he was cheated by widespread election fraud. State election officials report no serious irregularities, and several of his legal challenges have failed in court.
The Republican president is clinging to hope that a manual recount ordered by the state of Georgia can erase Biden’s lead there and is also challenging results in the swing state of Michigan.
Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system implementation manager, said in a videoconference with journalists that as of Wednesday morning, election officials conducting the recount had reviewed 4,968,000 ballots – nearly all of those cast in the state – and found Biden’s lead over Trump in the state had fallen to 12,781 ballots. Before the recount, Biden led by 14,156 votes, Sterling said.
Sterling said investigators would look into any claims of fraud and that in every election a small number of ballots are cast illegally. But he said there was no evidence that fraud could have changed the outcome in Georgia.
States face a Dec. 8 deadline to certify election results in time for the official Electoral College vote on Dec. 14.
(Production: Temis Tormo)