United States President-elect Joe Biden has officially been declared the winner in the state of Georgia, flipping the historically Republican-voting state for the Democratic Party for the first time in decades.
The Associated Press news agency said late Thursday that Biden had secured Georgia’s 16 Electoral College votes, stretching his lead to 306 Electoral College votes compared to US President Donald Trump’s 232.
The news agency declared Biden the winner of the tightly contested US presidential elections on November 7 after the former US vice president won key states Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin – but the state of Georgia had been too close to call.
The AP’s victory call comes just after Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office announced that a manual audit of the presidential contest results had confirmed Biden’s narrow lead over Trump.
A hand tally of about five million votes was carried out under an audit required by a Georgia state law, AP reported – and not due to any problems with election procedures or an official recount request.
The state has until Friday to certify results that have been certified and submitted by the counties, the news agency said.
The result of Georgia hand count came after the Trump campaign filed a slew of lawsuits in key states across the US, as the Republican president has alleged, without any evidence, that widespread voter fraud marred the elections.
Trump has continued to refuse to concede the race, with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani telling reporters on Thursday that the campaign has “enough evidence” to “overturn” Biden’s victory.
Giuliani once again failed to provide any concrete evidence to back up his assertions, however.