Georgia official says state will find illegal votes, likely not enough to close gap

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A Georgia election official said on Monday that the state would find illegal votes but likely not enough to close the roughly 10,000-vote gap between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump.

"We are going to find that people did illegally vote — that's going to happen. There are going to be double voters. There are going to be people who did not have the qualifications for registered voters to vote in this state. That will be found, said Gabriel Sterling, who serves as Voting System Implementation Manager in the state.

"Is it 10,353?" Sterling said, referring to Biden's lead. "Unlikely. But every election, as I've said I think every day at this podium, is imperfect."

He added, however, that with the tight margins his state saw, he would thoroughly investigate the issue. "We know the system counted properly. We know the ballots that were there were counted properly and correctly. We know that. We're going to have an audit to prove it," Sterling said.

His comments came nearly a week after election day on Nov. 3. While media outlets have already called the election for Biden, the Trump campaign is vowing to continue fighting as Georgia seemed poised for a recount.

"Georgia will be a big presidential win, as it was the night of the Election!" President Trump tweeted Monday afternoon. Trump initially led Biden following the election, but fell behind by Friday after more ballot counts were reported.

In a statement Monday, the state's Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, lambasted the elections as an "embarrassment" and called on Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign.

Raffensperger later released a statement announcing that he wouldn't resign, adding that it was unlikely finding illegal votes would close the gap between the two presidential candidates.

"The process of reporting results has been orderly and followed the law. Where there have been specific allegations of illegal voting, my office has dispatched investigators. We have put a monitor in at Fulton County…one of our longtime problem Democrat-run counties," he said, referring to a reporting issue that occurred during work on Friday. On Saturday, Raffensperger said officials were rescanning their work, and that he was sending the deputy secretary of state to monitor the process.

In his Monday statement, he added: "The investigation of potential double voters was the first of its kind done in the history of the Secretary of State’s office, and we will investigate any of those instances from the general election as well. I care about counting each and every legal vote…and assuring that illegal votes aren’t counted."

"And as far as lack of transparency…we were literally putting releases of results up at a minimum hourly. I and my office have been holding daily or twice-daily briefings for the press to walk them through all the numbers. So that particular charge is laughable," he said, referring to one of the senators' accusations.

Under state law, candidates can request a recount if the margin separating two candidates is 0.5% or less.

The recount will begin as soon as canvassing has ended, the Trump campaign said in a press release. A Georgia state judge threw out a Trump campaign lawsuit last week that claimed late-arriving ballots were improperly added to Biden’s totals.

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