ATLANTA — Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States on Saturday and offered himself to the nation as a leader who “seeks not to divide, but to unify” a country gripped by a historic pandemic and a confluence of economic and social turmoil. Trump has refused to concede, threatening further legal action on ballot counting.
Watch Channel 2 Action News throughout the day for updates on the election results in Georgia
Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats are heading to a runoff after Democratic candidates mounted strong challenges to Republican incumbents, and the outcome is likely to determine which party controls the chamber.
[LIVE: Georgia 2020 Election Results]
Georgia is still too close to call, but Biden has steadily expanded his lead over Trump as elections officials count the last outstanding ballots. He would be the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry Georgia in nearly three decades.
[SPECIAL SECTION: Election 2020]
LIVE UPDATES FROM MONDAY:
Jon Ossoff tweets that he is challenging Sen. David Perdue to 3 more debates between now and January:
Here is a look at the latest numbers from Tuesday’s election:
Biden: 2,467,998 (49.5%)
Trump: 2,456,580 (49.3%)
Difference: 11,418 votes
The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus has released the following statement of the election:
"This has been a challenging year for Georgians and many throughout the United States. COVID-19 has forever changed the fabric of our lives and how we interact with each other.
"Congratulations to President-Elect Joe Biden, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris and all the candidates who emerged victorious. I am happy that democracy prevails, and voters did not allow their voices to be silenced. Thank you to the almost 150 million American voters who cast their ballot and the five million Georgians who did so as well.
"I especially want to acknowledge the 1.2 million African American voters in Georgia who cast their ballot, an increase of 500,000 compared to 2016. The voter’s belief in the democracy was evident. All the victories we enjoy as a state derive from you.
“Thank you again, Georgia. Let’s continue the work for ‘freedom and justice for all,’ and let’s get it done.”
Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger released a statement in response to Sens. Loeffler and Perdue’s calls to step down:
Earlier today Senators Loeffler and Perdue called for my resignation.
Let me start by saying that is not going to happen. The voters of Georgia hired me, and the voters will be the one to fire me. As Secretary of State, I’ll continue to fight every day to ensure fair elections in Georgia, that every legal vote counts, and that illegal votes don’t count.
I know emotions are running high. Politics are involved in everything right now. If I was Senator Perdue, I’d be irritated I was in a runoff. And both Senators and I are all unhappy with the potential outcome for our President.
But I am the duly elected Secretary of State. One of my duties involves helping to run elections for all Georgia voters. I have taken that oath, and I will execute that duty and follow Georgia law.
Here are the facts.
The election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 in Georgia, from an election administration perspective was a resounding success. The average wait time to vote was 3 minutes. Almost 5 million Georgians cast a vote in this election…that is a record turnout. Nearly 75% of Georgia voters voted in person, while 25% to vote no-excuse absentee. That no-excuse absentee law was adopted by a Republican legislature, supported by Speaker David Ralston, and signed into law by then-Governor Sonny Perdue.
President Trump received more votes than any other Republican presidential candidate in Georgia history, and Senator Perdue received more votes than the President.
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.
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.
Was there illegal voting? I am sure there was. And my office is investigating all of it. Does it rise to the numbers or margin necessary to change the outcome to where President Trump is given Georgia’s electoral votes? That is unlikely.
One thing I have learned in my time as Secretary of State is that a lot of difficulties in administering elections are caused by federal law. Federal law, not state law, is what makes it so difficult to keep clean voter rolls. Federal law, not state law, is what allows people to register to vote before a runoff even if they weren’t registered for the general election. Now that Senators Perdue and Loeffler are concerned about elections, hopefully they can fix these federal laws.
My job is to follow Georgia law and see to it that all legal votes, and no illegal votes, are counted properly and accurately. As Secretary of State, that is my duty, and I will continue to do my duty. As a Republican, I am concerned about Republicans keeping the U.S. Senate. I recommend that Senators Loeffler and Perdue start focusing on that.
Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are calling for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign.
“The management of Georgia elections has become an embarrassment for our state. Georgians are outraged, and rightly so. We have been clear from the beginning: every legal vote cast should be counted. Any illegal vote must not. And there must be transparency and uniformity in the counting process,” a statement said.
“There have been too many failures in Georgia elections this year and the most recent election has shined a national light on the problems. While blame certainly lies elsewhere as well, the buck ultimately stops with the Secretary of State. The mismanagement and lack of transparency from the Secretary of State is unacceptable. Honest elections are paramount to the foundation of our democracy. The Secretary of State has failed to deliver honest and transparent elections. He has failed the people of Georgia, and he should step down immediately,” the statement continued.
The Secretary of State responded with his own statement that said, “Let me start by saying that is not going to happen. The voters of Georgia hired me, and the voters will be the one to fire me. As Secretary of State, I’ll continue to fight every day to ensure fair elections in Georgia, that every legal vote counts, and that illegal votes don’t count.”
“My job is to follow Georgia law and see to it that all legal votes, and no illegal votes, are counted properly and accurately. As Secretary of State, that is my duty, and I will continue to do my duty. As a Republican, I am concerned about Republicans keeping the U.S. Senate. I recommend that Senators Loeffler and Perdue start focusing on that,” Raffensperger said.
The White House is instructing federal agencies to fire political appointees of President Donald Trump who are looking for job opportunities after Trump’s election defeat to President-elect Joe Biden.
President-elect Joe Biden spoke Monday afternoon and is imploring Americans to “wear a mask” to help fight the spread of the coronavirus — “no matter who you voted for.”
Georgia Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan told CNN this morning that there is no evidence of voter fraud or irregularities in the state.
Democratic Nominee for the U.S. Senate in Georgia Jon Ossoff challenged his opponent, Senator David Perdue, to three live, televised debates throughout Georgia before the runoff election on January 5.
President Donald Trump is facing pressure to cooperate with President-elect Joe Biden’s team to ensure a smooth transfer of power when the new administration takes office in January.
President-elect Joe Biden has revealed the members of his transitional coronavirus advisory board, multiple news outlets are reporting.
READ MORE: Live updates from the weekend
- Key Dates for 2020 Elections in Georgia
- Election 2020 timeline: What happens next?
- EXPLAINER: Georgia’s role in the Senate Balance of Power