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Live updates: Ga. certifies Biden as the winner of state’s presidential vote, President-elect to meet with top Democrats

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Why Biden did better in parts of America with strong economies

The Post’s Heather Long explains why President-elect Joe Biden won in economically thriving cities while President Trump did better in places facing hardship. (Video: Mahlia Posey/Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post)

By John Wagner and Colby Itkowitz, THE WASHINGTON POST

November 20, 2020 at 1:38 p.m. AST

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Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Friday that President-elect Joe Bide had won the state by more than 12,000 votes after a hand count of all 5 million ballots. The certified results will be submitted to Gov. Brian Kemp (R), who has until Saturday afternoon to accept them.

The Trump campaign has until Tuesday evening to request another recount of the results, which would launch a process to re-scan the ballots that were recounted by hand.

Biden plans to convene Friday with the two top Democrats in Congress as he continues his transition to the White House, even as President Trump presses ahead with a bid to reverse the election results. Trump has invited state Republican leaders from Michigan to meet with him at the White House.

Here’s what to know:

Trump is using the power of his office to try to reverse the results of the election, orchestrating a pressure campaign to persuade Republican officials in Michigan, Georgia and elsewhere to overturn the will of voters.

Biden is trying to minimize as an irresponsible distraction the escalating attempts by Trump and his allies to undermine or overturn the presidential election results.

The chaotic effort to upend the U.S. presidential election has moved from the courtroom to traditionally mundane events in county seats and state capitals.

Here are the people Biden is picking to fill his White House and Cabinet.

Election results under attack: Here are the facts.

1:35 p.m.

Georgia certifies Biden as the winner of the state’s presidential vote

By Michelle Lee

Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) on Friday certified the state’s general election results, including Biden as the winner of the state’s presidential vote.

The announcement affirms Biden’s narrow lead over President Trump after a hand-recount of roughly 5 million votes cast for president, the largest recount of its kind in U.S. history. The election results will now be submitted to Gov. Brian Kemp (R) for his certification, which is due Saturday afternoon and is considered a pro forma action to accept the secretary of state’s tally.

The governor is not involved in the administering or finalizing of the state’s results, according to the secretary of state’s office. The Trump campaign has until next Tuesday evening to request another recount of the results, which would launch a process to re-scan the presidential ballots that have already been hand-recounted and audited. State election officials have said that they hope the hand-recount reassures the public about the outcome of the election.

Nonetheless, election officials across Georgia have been preparing to re-scan the ballots in anticipation of a potential request from the Trump campaign. Biden led Trump by 12,284 votes, according to the audited results that were certified Friday. The final votes resulted in a 0.0099 percent variation from the original margin, according to the secretary of state. “In certifying the results, the Secretary of State affirmed that all 159 counties have provided to the state the total votes tabulated for each state and federal candidate,” read a statement from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office Friday.

The statement added: “Certification does not preclude the state from continuing any current investigations related to the General Election or from pursuing any future allegations that may arise from these elections.”

Biden’s narrow lead has prompted a barrage of attacks from Trump and other top Republicans in Georgia, who have repeatedly sought to question the integrity of the election in the state. Trump’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said Thursday that the campaign plans on filing a lawsuit in Georgia challenging its election administration. State election officials have said there is no evidence of widespread election fraud or irregularity.

12:53 p.m.

Michigan Democrats hope state GOP leaders summoned to White House won’t be cajoled by Trump

By Colby Itkowitz

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) on Oct. 25 in Dearborn, Mich. (Carlos Osorio/AP)

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) on Oct. 25 in Dearborn, Mich. (Carlos Osorio/AP)

Michigan Democrats on Friday declined to pass judgment on their GOP colleagues meeting with Trump at the White House later in the day, saying they were hopeful that the lawmakers would emerge unwilling to try to alter the outcome of the election.

Trump has summoned Michigan GOP legislative leaders Mike Shirkey and Lee Chatfield to the White House in an apparent effort to convince them to ignore Biden’s popular-vote win in the state and seat Trump electors instead.

State Sen. Jeff Irwin (D) on a call with reporters ahead of that meeting likened it to their “getting called into the principal’s office.” He said he hoped his GOP colleagues wouldn’t give in to Trump’s demands.

“Senator Shirkey has already stood up and said that the will of the voters ought to be respected and I’m hopeful that when he emerges from this meeting with President Trump that he’s going to stand by the voters of Michigan, stand up for Michigan voters, show them that our system does have legitimacy,” Irwin said.

The president “today is trying to cajole, bully and maybe even bribe them into doing something that would be a disaster for our country. It would damage our legitimacy, that would ruin our prestige around the world, and that would cause a tremendous instability in our country,” he added.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (Mich.), also on the call, wouldn’t rule out calling for an investigation into Trump’s attempts at interfering in the election results, but said she also is reluctant to create more division.

“A lot of discussions going on right now about what the right thing to do is,” Dingell said. “We need to see what’s going to happen out of this meeting. Do I think it’s a totally inappropriate meeting? Yes, but … I want to see what actions occur.”

Dingell added, “We are not going to let these people in the White House undermine a democracy that has lasted for 200 years, that makes us the greatest country in the world.”

12:48 p.m.

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Pelosi says she is hopeful House will soon get briefing on Trump administration hold-up of Biden transition

By John Wagner

House leaders expect briefing on Biden transition before Thanksgiving

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Nov. 20 said the House will have an expanded role in assuring an orderly transition for President-elect Joe Biden. (The Washington Post)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday that House Democrats are continuing to push for a briefing from the General Services Administration on why the agency is blocking key facets of a Biden transition, saying that “hopefully before Thanksgiving that will happen.”

“You hope that people will have good faith in the jobs that they have,” Pelosi told reporters. “You want to give them a chance to get that done. It is totally mystifying that the GSA refuses to make the statement necessary for the transition to happen in orderly fashion.”

Pelosi also suggested the House could play a bigger role in the standoff but did not elaborate.

“I’m not one to show my hand, but nonetheless, we’re ready,” she said.

Emily Murphy, the GSA administrator and a Trump appointee, has declined to certify Biden as the apparent winner of the race, a move that would allow resources and access to current government officials to aid the transition.

In a letter to Murphy earlier this week, House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.) asked for a bipartisan briefing by Monday.

“We have been extremely patient, but we can wait no longer,” they wrote. “As GSA Administrator, it is your responsibility to follow the law and assure the safety and well-being of the United States and its people — not to submit to political pressure to violate the law and risk the consequences.”

12:33 p.m.

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Top Biden lawyer calls Trump’s attempts to overturn the election ‘pathetic’ and ‘appalling’

By Michael Scherer

President-elect Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris, speaks about economic recovery at the Queen theater in Wilmington, Del.

President-elect Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris, speaks about economic recovery at the Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

The Biden campaign’s top legal official on Friday lambasted Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results as “pathetic,” “appalling,” “ludicrous,” “discriminatory” and ultimately “doomed to failure.”

The comments by Bob Bauer, a senior adviser to Biden who is leading the election litigation effort, had a dual purpose of calling out Trump’s behavior and assuring the country that the president-elect’s team sees no possibility that Trump will succeed in his efforts. They are the sharpest public rebuke the Biden campaign has yet leveled against Trump’s efforts.

“The harm is real. There is however no chance whatsoever that Donald Trump can be successful,” Bauer said, after distinguishing between the legal threat and the harm done to the American democratic tradition. “It feels bad, it looks bad and it’s very, very dangerous.”

Bauer said there were clear legal routes for the Biden campaign to pursue if Republican officials decline to certify the ballot in Michigan on Monday, or if state lawmakers attempt to put forward a slate of electors that does not reflect the state vote count.

Trump has invited Michigan lawmakers to the White House in an apparent effort to push for a legislative-backed slate of electors that would make Trump the victor in Michigan.

“Not possible, not legal, not constitutional, cannot happen,” Bauer said of Trump’s strategy. “It is an abuse of office. It is an open attempt to intimidate election officials. it is absolutely appalling.”

Bauer also criticized the Trump legal team’s effort to target vote counting in predominantly Black cities as “discriminatory behavior” that was so brazen it would ultimately undermine Trump’s legal efforts. He also criticized Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) for calling elections officials, including the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, to inquire about the possibility of throwing out votes in counties with high rates of mismatched signatures.

Graham has denied that he pressured Raffensperger to toss legal ballots. Bauer said Graham’s reported behavior was “inconsistent” with the role of a U.S. senator.

12:28 p.m.

Md. Gov. Hogan criticizes Trump administration for obstructing the transition

By Ovetta Wiggins

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan takes his mask off as he arrives for a news conference to address coronavirus concerns in Annapolis, Md.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan takes his mask off as he arrives for a news conference to address coronavirus concerns in Annapolis, Md. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Friday criticized Trump’s refusal to concede, describing the challenges as “ridiculous” and calling his unwillingness to share information with the incoming administration “outrageous.”

“I think it’s bad for Donald Trump; it’s bad for the Republican Party; bad for the country, and our standing in the world,” Hogan said during an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “It’s diminishing the presidency … We need to have the transition begin as soon as possible.”

Hogan, who has attacked Trump in the past, briefly toyed with the idea of entering the presidential primary. He was one of four sitting governors who did not endorse Trump. He did not vote for Trump or Biden earlier this month, instead choosing to write in late President Ronald Reagan’s name.

Hogan said he thinks it is “just a matter of time” before Trump heeds the advice of many people around him. “Everybody I know is giving that same advice and pushing to get this resolved, including, I think, friends of the president, the president’s staff, folks on his campaign,” he said.

Hogan also bashed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s decision to cut several Federal Reserve emergency funds, calling it “a terrible mistake” given the country’s fragile economy.

Hogan said he didn’t understand the motivation behind the decision and called on Congress to “put the politics aside” to reach a compromise on the fourth stimulus bill. “Our economic crisis is by no means over,” he said. “This is going to get worse before it gets better, both on the health side and the economic side.”

12:00 p.m.

Biden announces new senior staffers for his White House

By Matt Viser

President-elect Joe Biden speaks at the Queen theater on Thursday in Wilmington, Del. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

President-elect Joe Biden speaks at the Queen theater on Thursday in Wilmington, Del. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

Biden announced a quartet of additional advisers who will be on his senior staff at the White House, further expanding the team that will guide him at the start of his administration.

Mala Adiga will be the policy director for Jill Biden; Carlos Elizondo will be White House social secretary; Cathy Russell will serve as director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel; and Louisa Terrell will be director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.

“I’m proud to name additional members of our team who will help deliver the change America needs in these difficult times,” Biden said in a statement.

Biden’s incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, whose position was announced last week, said Biden “must have a boundless team of experts ready for day one.”

All of the new staffers announced on Friday also held positions in the Obama administration, another sign of Biden’s efforts to appoint government veterans into his administration.

11:35 a.m.

Recount kicks off in Wisconsin, where Biden leads by more than 20,000 votes

By Rosalind Helderman

Two Wisconsin counties will kick off recounts of presidential election results on Friday morning. The Trump campaign has paid $3 million for the process but chose to target only the state’s two most Democratic-leaning counties for the recount, Milwaukee and Dane County, home to Madison.

More than 804,000 ballots were cast for president in the two counties of the 3.24 million votes cast in Wisconsin. Biden leads President Trump by more than 20,000 in Wisconsin. The two counties must complete the process by Dec. 1, but Milwaukee officials have said they hope to wrap up by Wednesday. In a statement, the Trump campaign alleged that the state’s election commission had “repeatedly failed to follow the law” leading up to the election and said they were “confident that when all of the legal ballots are counted and illegal ballots are not counted, President Trump will be proven the winner” in the state.

In a petition seeking the recount, the campaign cited a number of concerns with how absentee ballots were handled. Each appeared to be processes that were applied similarly statewide and have been in place since before the 2016 presidential election, which Trump won and did not contest. Wisconsin election law experts said that the campaign will likely raise the issues during the recount, where they will be adjudicated on the scene by three-member boards of canvassers.

In both counties, Democrats hold two seats on the panels and Republicans only one. The Trump campaign could then challenge the boards’ findings in court — but likely only at the conclusion of the recount. County clerks in both Milwaukee and Dane have expressed confidence in the integrity of the counting process up to this point and doubt that a recount will result in a shift of many votes.

In 2016, when Green Party candidate Jill Stein sought a more extensive statewide recount of results in Wisconsin, Trump’s lead widened by just 131 votes at the conclusion of the process.

11:32 a.m.

Michigan Senate leader has little to say at airport as he heads to Washington to meet with Trump

By John Wagner

Michigan state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey was surrounded by political activists at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and had little to say Friday morning as he headed to Washington for a White House meeting with Trump.

Trump has summoned Shirkey and Michigan state House Speaker Lee Chatfield, both Republicans, as he seeks to find ways to reverse the election results in multiple battleground states where Biden leads. In Michigan, Biden is the projected winner and leads by about 157,000 votes.

Friday’s meeting is taking place ahead of next Monday’s state canvassing board meeting in Michigan to certify results. The president’s allies have said that if the board deadlocks, the legislature could choose to ignore Biden’s popular-vote win and seat Trump electors — an idea Shirkey has rejected in previous public statements.

According to local reports, Shirkey said Friday that he is “happy to meet with the president” but did not elaborate. Video of his arrival at the airport shows activists walking alongside him with signs reading “Uphold Democracy” and “Count Every Vote.”

11:00 a.m.

Majority of voters rank Trump’s post-election conduct negatively, Biden’s conduct positively

By John Wagner

President-elect Joe Biden; President Trump. (Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

President-elect Joe Biden; President Trump. (Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Nearly 7 in 10 voters — including about one-third of his own supporters — rate Trump’s post-election conduct as only fair or poor, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Friday.

By contrast, the same survey found that more than 6 in 10 voters rate Biden’s post-election conduct as good or excellent. Only 4 percent of Biden supporters said his conduct has been only fair or poor.

The contrast comes as Biden moves forward with a transition to the White House that Trump has sought to impede while pressing legal challenges to reverse the election results.

Among all voters, 54 percent rate Trump’s conduct as poor, while 14 percent say it is only fair, 18 percent say it is good and 13 percent say it is excellent.

Among all voters, 20 percent rate Biden’s conduct as poor, while 17 percent say it is only fair, 24 percent say it is good and 38 percent say it is excellent.

The survey also finds a large gap in perceptions of how well the elections were administered and whether votes were counted accurately.

Ninety-four percent of Biden voters say the election was administered and run very or somewhat well, a view held by only 21 percent of Trump voters.

Ninety-seven percent of Biden voters say they are very or somewhat confident their vote was conducted accurately, compared with 72 percent of Trump voters who said the same.

10:17 a.m.

Analysis: Investors are shrugging off post-election turmoil. That may not last.

By Tory Newmyer

Trump has made the presidential transition historically messy as he seeks to subvert the election results. So far, remarkably, investors don’t seem to care.

Thursday offered a case in point. The president pushed ahead with a far-reaching pressure campaign to persuade Republican officials in Michigan, Georgia and elsewhere to overturn the will of voters.

And it drew the sharpest rebuke yet from Biden, who said Trump’s refusal to concede amounted to “incredible irresponsibility.” He would not rule out legal action to force the administration to begin the official transfer of power.

Yet stocks rallied Thursday, with the Dow Jones industrial average climbing back from a 200-point drop in the morning to close up 0.2 percent.

9:51 a.m.

Georgia’s secretary of state expresses confidence in results, suggests reforms to election process

By Michelle Lee

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R).

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R). (Brynn Anderson/AP)

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) on Friday expressed confidence in the accuracy of his state’s hand recount, which reaffirmed Biden’s 12,284-vote lead, amid a barrage of attacks from Trump’s legal team alleging unsubstantiated claims about widespread fraud.

Raffensperger is scheduled Friday to certify the results, which then head to Gov. Brian Kemp (R) for a pro forma certification.

The Trump campaign has until next Tuesday evening to request another recount of the results, which would launch a process to re-scan the ballots that were hand-recounted.

“Working as an engineer throughout my life, I live by the motto that numbers don’t lie. As secretary of state, I believe that the numbers that we have presented today are correct,” Raffensperger said in a statement Friday morning. “The numbers reflect the verdict of the people, not a decision by the secretary of state’s office or of courts or of either campaign.”

In the statement, Raffensperger made three recommendations for state legislators to improve the state’s election administration, pointing to concerns that surfaced during the risk-limiting audit process that concluded Thursday.

Raffensperger requested state legislation that allows the state to intervene in counties that have systemic problems with election administration, including in counties that did not count all the votes that were cast.

He called for an overhaul of Georgia’s absentee ballot laws, recommending additional security measures for mail voting in an effort to instill the public’s trust in how the state verifies its mail-in ballots.

He also recommended stricter state requirements that would allow officials to investigate suspected cases of voters who may be on the state’s voter rolls but are no longer eligible to vote in Georgia.

Trump’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said Thursday that the campaign plans on filing a lawsuit in Georgia challenging its election administration. State election officials have said there is no evidence of widespread election fraud or irregularity.

9:43 a.m.

Biden marks Transgender Day of Remembrance with a statement pledging to ‘see you, listen to you’

By John Wagner

President-elect Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Del., on Nov. 7.

President-elect Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Del., on Nov. 7. (Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg News)

Biden, who has signaled he will be an advocate for transgender rights as president, issued a statement Friday marking a Transgender Day of Remembrance, lamenting what he said was the most violent year on record for the transgender and gender-nonconforming communities in the country.

“As least 37 transgender and gender-nonconforming people have been killed this year, most of them Black and Brown transgender women,” Biden said. “It’s intolerable. On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor their lives — and recommit to the work that remains to ensure that every transgender and gender-nonconforming person in America has the opportunity to live authentically, earn a living wage, and be treated with dignity and respect in their communities and workplaces.”

On Nov. 7, the day the election was called in his favor, Biden became the first U.S. president-elect to refer to the transgender community in a victory speech.

“From the moment I am sworn in as president of the United States, know that my administration will see you, listen to you, and fight for not only your safety but also the dignity and justice you have been denied,” Biden said in his statement Friday.

Signaling another way in which his administration will be different from that of Trump, Biden also issued a statement Friday praising the work of the Global Health Security Agenda, an initiative launched under President Barack Obama to address pandemic threats that Trump has sought to undermine.

“As President, I will work with our global partners, the World Health Organization, and civil society to prioritize and strengthen the GHSA to reduce the risk of future public health emergencies and, most importantly, save lives,” Biden said.

9:30 a.m.

Analysis: Conspiracy theories are all that’s left in Trump’s effort to overturn the election

By Joseph Marks

Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, a lawyer for President Trump, speaks during a news conference in Washington on Thursday. (Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post)

Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, a lawyer for President Trump, speaks during a news conference in Washington on Thursday. (Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post)

The Trump campaign’s latest effort to overturn the election results pits the allure of conspiracy theories against years of efforts to create the most secure and auditable election in U.S. history.

Trump lawyers Rudolph W. Giuliani, Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell presented no evidence for their claims during a lengthy news conference that the election was rigged by faulty voting machines, foreign powers and an opaque cast of corrupt politicians.

Officials who ran the election and are preparing to certify it, meanwhile, have spent years improving security protections, testing technology and ensuring there are paper records of votes that can be audited after an election to prove they were tallied correctly.

9:10 a.m.

Biden, top Democrats lay groundwork for multibillion-dollar push to boost U.S. broadband

By Tony Romm

Biden and top congressional Democrats are laying the groundwork to seek a massive increase in federal broadband spending next year, hoping they can secure billions of dollars in new government aid to improve Internet access and affordability — and help people stay online during the coronavirus pandemic.

Party leaders are mulling a wide array of proposals that would extend the availability of broadband in hard-to-reach rural areas, raise Internet speeds for American households, assist families who are struggling to pay their Internet bills, and provide more funding to schools for computers and other equipment. Many Democrats say they are bullish about their prospects, believing they can shepherd a series of record-breaking investments at a time when the resurgent coronavirus is forcing Americans to work and learn from home again.

8:00 a.m.

Biden to meet with top Democrats in Congress as transition continues

By John Wagner and Michael Scherer

President-elect Joe Biden listens to a question from a reporter after speaking in Wilmington, Del., on Thursday.

President-elect Joe Biden listens to a question from a reporter after speaking in Wilmington, Del., on Thursday. (Salwan Georges/The Washington Post)

Biden plans to huddle Friday with the top Democrats in Congress as he continues his transition to the White House despite Trump’s ongoing efforts to reverse the election results.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) are scheduled to travel to Wilmington, Del., for the meeting with Biden, which will also include Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), the vice president-elect, according to Biden’s transition team.

Biden is seeking to carry out as normal a transition as possible, despite the Trump administration’s refusal to cooperate.

Speaking with reporters Thursday, he did not rule out taking action against the General Services Administration at a future date to force a belated recognition of his presidential transition. The GSA, following Trump’s order, has refused to allow the traditional exchange of information with the incoming administration, even blocking intelligence and pandemic briefings.

“Hang on. I’m on my way,” Biden said, after being asked what he would tell people concerned by Trump’s efforts to question the results. “That’s what I say to them. Not a joke.”

7:50 a.m.

Trump plans to participate in economic summit, speak on prescription drug costs; Pence heading to Ga.

By John Wagner

President Trump talks with others in the Oval Office at the White House last week.

President Trump talks with others in the Oval Office at the White House last week. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Trump, who has kept a low public profile since Biden was projected as the winner of the presidency, is scheduled Friday to participate virtually in an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and to deliver remarks on the cost of prescription drugs.

It’s unclear whether he will take questions from reporters following the latter event, planned in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Reporters will not be present for Trump’s participation in the economic summit, which includes 21 member economies.

During the past two weeks, Trump has been a near-constant presence on Twitter, airing commentary and grievances on the election. But uncharacteristically, he has not interacted with the White House press corps.

Vice President Pence, meanwhile, is headed to Georgia, where he is scheduled to participate in two rallies on behalf of Republican Sens. David Purdue and Kelly Loeffler, who face runoff elections on Jan. 5 that will determine which party has control of the U.S. Senate.

7:45 a.m.

Georgia expected to certify results after hand tally shows Biden maintaining lead

By John Wagner

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference in Atlanta earlier this month.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference in Atlanta earlier this month. (Brynn Anderson/AP)

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is expected Friday to certify the results of the state’s presidential race after the completion of a hand tally that showed Biden maintaining a lead over Trump.

Biden beat Trump by 12,284 votes, according to the final results from the audit, which showed a slight gain for Trump over the pre-audit results in a state where roughly 5 million votes were cast.

“Georgia’s historic first statewide audit reaffirmed that the state’s new secure paper ballot voting system accurately counted and reported results,” Raffensperger, a Republican, said in a statement. “This is a credit to the hard work of our county and local elections officials who moved quickly to undertake and complete such a momentous task in a short period of time.”

Raffensperger and other election officials have said repeatedly that there was no widespread fraud or irregularities in Georgia’s results, despite unfounded contentions by Trump and his allies to the contrary.

No Democrat has carried Georgia in a presidential race since 1992.

7:34 a.m.

Tucker Carlson bashes Trump attorney Sidney Powell for lack of evidence in fraud claims

By Tim Elfrink

Fox News host Tucker Carlson called out President Trump’s attorney Sidney Powell for not providing his show any evidence of alleged voter fraud.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson called out President Trump’s attorney Sidney Powell for not providing his show any evidence of alleged voter fraud. (Fox News)

As Fox News host Tucker Carlson noted on Thursday night, he’s more than willing to give airtime to outlandish claims. “We literally do UFO segments,” he said.

But even Carlson said he was fed up with the total lack of evidence produced by Sidney Powell, one of Trump’s attorneys, in her unfounded allegation that electronic voting systems had switched millions of ballots to favor Biden.

“We invited Sidney Powell on the show. We would have given her the whole hour,” Carlson said. “But she never sent us any evidence, despite a lot of requests, polite requests. Not a page. When we kept pressing, she got angry and told us to stop contacting her.”

Carlson also noted that “she never demonstrated that a single actual vote was moved illegitimately by software from one candidate to another. Not one.”

7:31 a.m.

Romney blasts ‘undemocratic’ Trump for pressuring Republicans to overturn election results

By Timothy Bella

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) speaks during a news conference in Salt Lake City in October.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) speaks during a news conference in Salt Lake City in October. (Rick Bowmer/AP)

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney late on Thursday denounced Trump’s attempt to pressure Republican officials to reverse the results of the election, describing it as among the most “undemocratic” actions ever taken by a sitting president.

“Having failed to make even a plausible case of widespread fraud or conspiracy before any court of law, the President has now resorted to overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election,” the Utah senator and frequent Trump critic said in a statement posted to Twitter. “It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American President.”

Romney joined Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.) as the only two GOP senators on Thursday to publicly oppose the president’s actions, as Trump and his campaign continue lobbing baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud in Michigan and other states in hopes of remaining in power.

7:29 a.m.

What will Inauguration Day look like amid a pandemic?

By Emily Davies and Justin Jouvenal

Construction continued this week on the presidential inaugural platform on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.

Construction continued this week on the presidential inaugural platform on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

The inaugural platform is going up near the Capitol, and the District has repaved Pennsylvania Avenue for the traditional parade. But the crowds huddled together enjoying a concert on the Mall and the celebratory balls that go late into the night? They are less certain.

In fact, much remains unknown about how the coronavirus pandemic will change the inaugural celebration that normally transforms the city every four years.

Nine weeks away from the 59th presidential inauguration, officials are under pressure to stage an event that will begin to heal a nation bruised by its deep partisan divides. But they are also operating under the constraints of a health crisis that has upended traditions dependent on massive gatherings and cross-country travel. The result is citywide preparation for a ceremony still shrouded in uncertainty as constituents clamor for tickets and the coronavirus continues to surge around them.

Trump’s escalating attacks put pressure on vote certification process

By David Fahrenthold, Beth Reinhard, Elise Viebeck and Emma Brown

The chaotic effort to upend the U.S. presidential election has moved from the courtroom to a series of traditionally mundane events in county seats and state capitals, deliberations now under enormous pressure as Trump and his allies seek to block formal recognition of Biden’s victory in key battleground states.

In the immediate term, the focus is on the four-member Michigan state canvassing board, which is scheduled to meet Monday on whether to certify Biden’s large win in that state.

On Thursday, one of the two Republicans on the board said that although he expected Biden to win the election, he may suggest a delay to allow for an audit of the state’s ballots amid unfounded allegations by the president’s legal team of widespread fraud. Biden is now leading in Michigan by roughly 150,000 votes.

7:26 a.m.

In Georgia, get-out-the-vote operations that helped Biden win haven’t stopped

By Vanessa Williams and Reis Thebault

On Nov. 3, Deborah Scott, executive director of Georgia Stand-Up, works with her staff to continuously supply her teams at polling locations with food, information and more.

On Nov. 3, Deborah Scott, executive director of Georgia Stand-Up, works with her staff to continuously supply her teams at polling locations with food, information and more. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

ATLANTA — For Deborah Scott, executive director of Georgia Stand-Up, it’s as if Election Day never ended.

The get-out-the-vote efforts of civic engagement groups like hers, which helped Biden become the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state in nearly three decades, have been ongoing since Nov. 3.

The group is still knocking on doors, calling voters and signing up new registrants, with a big push involving 100 volunteers planned for this weekend. Another group that works to mobilize voters of color set up tables at a recent high school graduation to register newly eligible young voters. A third group is reaching voters at transit stations.

The efforts are a continuation of the groups’ relentless push to register, engage and turn out voters ahead of a pair of high-stakes Senate runoffs on Jan. 5, which will determine which party controls the Senate.

—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: November 20, 2020 at 01:51PM

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