Several media outlets declared President Trump the winner of North Carolina and presumptive president-elect Joe Biden the winner of Georgia on Friday, more than one week after Election Day.
Biden’s win in Georgia marks the first time a Democrat has won the state in 28 years, landing just over 14,000 votes, or 0.3 percentage points, ahead of President Trump. Trump maintained a larger margin over Biden in North Carolina, earning more than 73,000 votes, 0r 1.3 percentage points, than the Democrat candidate, the New York Times reported.
In 2016, President Trump beat Hillary Clinton in North Carolina by around four percentage points, but the state has primarily voted for Republican candidates for decades. The only Democrat to win the state since 1976 was former-President Barack Obama in 2008.
President Trump also topped Clinton in Georgia in 2016 by five percentage points — a slim margin compared to previous presidential elections.
While Joe Biden has been declared the winner of Georgia, the vote count in the Peach State is currently the subject of a hand-recount and audit.
Disruptions in counting votes on election night led to widespread confusion, propelling the Trump campaign to file multiple lawsuits in key swing states alleging voter fraud and suppression, including Georgia.
Also on Friday, the State of Georgia began the daunting task of counting almost 5 million ballots by hand.
NPR reported that election workers statewide have until Wednesday night to complete the recount. This is the first time Georgia has ever had to tackle an audit of its kind.
More than 393,000 ballots must be hand-counted in Cobb County alone, where elections director Janine Eveler said dozens of workers will continue counting throughout the weekend. Depending on the team’s progress, they may need to add more staff, Eveler said.
“We’re going to have to assess that. We don’t want to be in a hurry and a rush because we want a very methodical process,” Eveler said. “Which is why we spent so much time explaining to the folks, because they’ve never done it before.”
Eveler said she expects the thin margin of votes between President Trump and Democrat candidate Joe Biden to change, but only slightly.
“I’m sure it will change because people doing a hand count, there’s more reason to think they will make human error,” Eveler said. “That’s one thing that machines are really good at, is counting. So, we’ll see what we end up getting. I don’t think it will be large numbers.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced the recount and audit earlier this week, stating that the razor-thin margin called for a full hand-recount. Under normal circumstances, an audit would only require a sample of ballots to be counted by hand.
“This race has national significance, national importance, we get that, we understand that,” Raffensperger said. “At the end of the day, when we do a hand count we can answer the question: exactly what was the final margin in this race.”