Publish: 20 Nov 2020, 11:19 am
On Thursday, US President-elect Joe Biden accused Donald Trump of harming democracy brazenly, as the
The incumbent's attempt to overturn his election defeat by accusations of fraud was dealt another blow in Georgia with a recount.
Trump was behind “incredibly damaging messages being sent to the rest of the world about how democracy functions,” Biden told reporters in his home state of Delaware.
Trump, despite his rival having over six million more votes, declined to recognize his defeat on November 3.
Biden also secured the votes of the Electoral College, which eventually determines who takes the White House from 306 to 232, flipping five states four years ago that went to Trump.
That includes Georgia, where a hand recount of its five million ballots confirmed Thursday that Biden is the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the southern state in almost three decades.
According to figures posted on the website of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the recount revealed that Biden prevailed by 12,284 votes, marginally less than the approximately 14,000 he originally led.
Trump has tended to change his approach to asking states to overrule the will of voters after initially making false allegations of systemic fraud.
In Michigan, Trump placed a telephone call to a Republican on a once- obscure board who wants to withdraw her certification of the election result in a heavily Democratic county that includes majority-Black Detroit.
“He was checking to make sure I was safe after seeing/hearing about the threats and doxxing,” Wayne County Board of Canvassers chairwoman Monica Palmer told the Detroit Free Press, referring to personal information posted about her on social media.
Michigan Republican representatives were also reportedly invited to the White House by Trump, even as his campaign dropped a federal complaint that requested the courts to block final confirmation of the results of the state.
On November 3, Biden won Michigan with 155,000 votes, a winning margin more than 10 times higher than Trump's when he won the state in 2016.
Asked about Trump’s calls with officials there, Biden said it was “another incident where he will go down in history as being one of the most irresponsible presidents in American history.”
“It’s hard to fathom how this man thinks,” Biden said. “I’m confident he knows he hasn’t won, is not going to be able to win and we’re going to be sworn in January 20th.”
– More accusations by Trump camp –
Trump had sent his lawyer Rudy Giuliani earlier Thursday to give a news conference where he read affidavits claiming illegal voter participation in several states and said the campaign in Georgia would file a fresh lawsuit.
Giuliani, New York's former mayor, brazenly accused Democrats of being "crooks" who in many swing states committed massive fraud "to steal an election from the American people."
“It changes the results of the election in Michigan if you take out Wayne County,” said Giuliani, who repeatedly wiped sweat from his brow and at one point had a dark liquid which may have been hair dye snaking down the side of his face.
As Giuliani and other Trump lawyers outlined claims that included charges of communist involvement, the president — apparently watching on television— took to Twitter to applaud them for laying out “an open-and-shut case of voter fraud.”
Chris Krebs, the top US election security official who was fired by Trump after calling the election the most secure ever, wrote on Twitter that the news conference was “the most dangerous 1hr 45 minutes of television in American history” and “possibly the craziest.”
– Recount ‘did its job’ –
In Georgia, according to Gabriel Sterling, Georgia's voting system manager who helped track the so-called risk-level audit, several anomalies were discovered in Republican leaning counties.
"The positive thing was that the audit had done its job. Those tranches of votes were found," he told Fox News.
Memory cards that were not scanned in Douglas and Walton counties, more than 2,700 missing votes in Fayette County and 2,600 ballots from Floyd County that were not scanned were included in the problems that were chalked up to human error and not fraud.
Raffensperger, who like Sterling, is a Republican, said that there was no systematic voter fraud before the results were published.
The focus on Georgia is not just because of the recount. The state’s two US Senate races are going to runoffs on January 5 that will determine control of the chamber and Biden’s ability to push through his agenda.