Many woke up Friday to the news that Democrat candidate Joe Biden had pulled ahead in Georgia, tightening the race against incumbent President Donald Trump.
The news may have presented an emotional setback for Trump supporters since voting there is overseen by Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
In tossup states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Nevada—where Democrats took exclusive control over administering the election (sometimes in defiance of the states’ GOP legislatures)—court challenges appear certain.
Likewise, in disputed Arizona, despite having a centrist Republican governor, Doug Ducey, the voting is handled by Democrat Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.
But Raffensperger has faced an unenviable task in trying to rein in the apparent fraud occurring in mostly blue-populated urban districts of Atlanta and Savannah while assuring both sides of an election “focused on getting it right,” according to the official website.
With around 9,000 ballots remaining, Raffensperger said in a news conference on Friday morning that the narrow division, regardless of the outcome, guaranteed a recount.
“With a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia,” he said, according to The Blaze.
“The stakes are high, and emotions are high on all sides,” he continued. “We will not let those debates distract us from our work. We will get it right, and we’ll defend the integrity of our election.”
Some of the remaining ballots offered an encouraging sign for Trump, as well. It included that of more red-leaning regions such as Floyd County—home to Rome, where Trump held one of his final-stretch rallies last weekend.
With Georgia being home to more than a dozen military bases, including the Army’s Fort Benning, nearly 9,000 out-standing overseas and military ballot also remained to be tallied, Raffensperger said.
Those ballots must be received by the close of business on Friday and must have been postmarked no later than Wednesday, Nov. 4 in order to be counted.
In stark contrast with states like Nevada and North Carolina, where Democrat leaders have sought to tabulate votes under a shroud of secrecy (with an outcome that will surprise none) Raffensperger has regularly touted his state’s transparency and election-integrity procedures.
“In some states, there are complaints about monitors not being allowed to watch the count,” Raffensperger continued. “In Georgia, this process is and will remain open and transparent to monitors.”
He said that the state was also trying to be responsive to any valid reports of impropriety.
Among those already raised have been stories of unprocessed ballots being comingled with processed ones ready for counting and Republican poll watchers being ordered out of the room.
“If any member of the public raises legitimate concerns, we’ll investigate those,” he said. “We are committed to doing anything and everything to maintaining trust for every Georgian, regardless of partisan preference.”
Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting system implementation manager, said there had been no “widespread irregularities,” according to The Blaze.
Sterling hoped to have a recount completed within a week, he said.