Georgia hand tally of votes is complete, Biden flips state for Dems

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden has won Georgia and its 16 electoral votes.

It’s an extraordinary victory for Democrats who had pushed to expand their electoral map through the Sun Belt.

A top Georgia election official says a hand tally of the ballots cast in the presidential race has been completed, and that the results affirm Biden’s narrow lead over Republican President Donald Trump.

Gabriel Sterling released the information to The Associated Press on Thursday.

The hand recount of about 5 million votes stemmed from an audit required by a new state law and wasn’t in response to any suspected problems with the state’s results or an official recount request.

The state has until Friday to certify results that have been certified and submitted by the counties.

Biden’s win pads his Electoral College margin of victory over President Donald Trump. Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election on Nov. 7 after flipping Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Biden now has 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232. Trump won Georgia by 5 percentage points in 2016 over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

In 2020, Democrats focused heavily on the state, seeing it in play two years after Democrat Stacey Abrams narrowly lost the governor’s race. Georgia hadn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1992.

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