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By Mark Niesse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Madison Grey for (CNT) City News and Talk #local-all

Raffensperger also proposes photo ID requirement for absentee voting

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger certified Georgia’s election Friday, saying “numbers don’t lie” as vote counts showed Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump.

Biden was ahead of Trump by over 12,000 votes in both machine counts and a manual recount of paper ballots.

“Like other Republicans, I’m disappointed our candidate didn’t win,” Raffensperger said during a news conference at the state Capitol. “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. The numbers reflect the verdict of the people.”

A manual recount and audit of all ballots found that Biden received 12,284 more votes than Trump, according to results released Thursday. The recount was within 500 votes of initial machine ballot counts.

Raffensperger’s certification of the election Friday will make Georgia’s vote counts official and clear a path for Biden to receive the state’s 16 electoral votes.

There could be a second recount.

Trump has two business days to request a machine recount under a state law that gives candidates the right to another tabulation if they lost by less than half a percent. A recount would be paid for by Georgia taxpayers.

Raffensperger also proposed three changes to state law that he will seek in next year’s session of the Georgia General Assembly:

Photo ID for absentee voting: Voters would need to provide photo ID for their absentee ballots to be counted. Photo ID requirements would replace verifying absentee ballots by matching voter signatures, a process that the Trump campaign has attacked. Raffensperger has supported photo ID for absentee ballots since his 2018 campaign. While Raffensperger didn’t reveal details of the proposal, voters could have to provide a copy of their driver’s licenses or other identification in absentee ballot envelopes.

State election intervention: The secretary of state’s office would be able to intervene in counties that have “systemic, ongoing problems” such as miscounted ballots, Raffensperger said.

Voter registration cancellations: Raffensperger will seek more ways to allow challenges of the registrations of voters who are suspected of no longer living where they are registered.

These proposals might face a difficult path forward in the General Assembly.

Many Democrats oppose stricter photo ID and voter registration cancellation laws, saying they’re more likely to disenfranchise legitimate voters than prevent voter fraud. And Republicans are wary of giving the secretary of state’s office power to take over local county offices that run elections.

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