But after that, the Trump campaign can still request an official recount, if the result is within half a percentage point. That means President Trump could effectively get three bites at the apple — or the peach, as it were — in Georgia. Still, with the margin in the first tally giving Joseph R. Biden Jr. an edge of more than 14,000 votes, election observers do not believe any number of counts will alter the outcome.Counties will begin their audits on Friday morning and are required to finish up by midnight on Nov. 18. Auditors from the counties’ elections divisions will sit at tables and count the ballots. Most of what will be reviewed will be straightforward: printed copies of in-person votes cast on electronic machines. But county officials will also review absentee ballots marked by hand. If they find ambiguities, the ballots will be referred to a three-person adjudication panel in each county made up of a Democratic representative, a Republican representative and a county official who will break ties.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Georgia’s 159 counties were poised on Thursday to begin recounting nearly five million ballots in the presidential election, but confusion surrounded the proceedings even as county officials raced to get ready.A day after Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, described the process as a hand recount, his subordinates said Thursday that it was technically an audit and not a recount, though it would have largely the same effect. Counties are being told to audit every vote cast and tally a new result by midnight on Wednesday, two days before the state’s Nov. 20 deadline to certify its results.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – The situation in Georgia grew more complicated on Thursday when Mr. Raffensperger went into quarantine after his wife tested positive for the coronavirus; as of Thursday afternoon she was planning to take a second test. Jordan Fuchs, a deputy secretary of state, said that Mr. Raffensperger and several of his senior staff members also planned to get tested on Thursday.The state’s use of an audit to re-tally all of the votes that were cast is unusual, though the secretary of state’s office believes it has the legal authority to do so. Audits are typically carried out for a portion of the vote to verify the results.“This will be the largest hand re-tallying by an audit in the history of the United States,” Gabriel Sterling, a top deputy in the secretary of state’s office, said at a news conference on Thursday. “We understand that. It is a heavy lift.” Critics questioned the move.“If they are saying that this is the audit, the law does not permit them to take audit results and make them official,” said Marilyn Marks, the director of the Coalition for Good Governance, a voting rights group. “Clearly, the secretary is responding to political pressures rather than following the intent of the law.” Paige Hill, a spokeswoman for the Biden campaign, said in a statement that “historically only races with exceptionally close margins have any likelihood of being overturned,” adding: “President-elect Biden’s margin is now at more than 14,000 votes. At the end of this hand recount process, we are confident the Election Day result will be reaffirmed: Georgians have selected Joe Biden as their next commander in chief.”Mr. Raffensperger’s office has come under considerable pressure. He initiated the audit after Mr. Trump’s campaign demanded a hand recount. Georgia’s two senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who are both fellow Republicans, also called on Mr. Raffensperger to resign this week, under pressure from Mr. Trump. The president and his campaign are spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories about the election, falsely claiming that it was rigged.Mr. Sterling addressed some of the conspiracy theories on Thursday.“I know that there’s many other bits of misinformation out there, talking about flipping votes and changing votes,” he said. “Anybody claiming that things are being flipped by a super secret computer developed by the C.I.A. is just not speaking — is speaking nonsense.”He also said the news media had “mischaracterized the rationale behind” the audit “as caving to Trump and their campaign,” saying, “There’s nothing that could be further from the truth.”
Our Sports ReporterGuwahati: The picturesque city of Guwahati bid an emotional goodbye to the 3rd Khelo India Youth Games here on Wednesday. Maharashtra has crowned the champions in a power-packed and entertaining closing ceremony.During the 13-day event, Maharashtra won its second Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) trophy in a row collecting 78 gold, 77 silver and 101 bronze medals (total 256). Haryana came second with 200 medals (68 gold, 60 silver, 72 bronze), followed by Delhi at third with 122 medals (39 gold, 36 silver, 47 bronze).Addressing the participating athletes and officials in the closing function, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who attended the function with Union Minister of State for Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju, Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Union Minister of State for Food Processing Rameswar Teli, said: “You made Guwahati and Assam famous in the world map by coming and joining the Khelo India Youth Games. I thank all of you from my heart.” Meanwhile, Kiren Rijiju addressing at the closing function said: “Khelo India Youth Games aims to promote a sporting culture in the country.” He further added that such type of sporting events help us in identifying young talents.The closing ceremony was marked by a spectacular performance by Chinese martial artists along with some cultural programmes. Bollywood singer Shaan also performed in the concluding function of the Games which was held at the Karmavir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium at the Sarusajai Sports complex.Meanwhile, several events were held on the last day of the Games. In the women U-21 girls football, Haryana won the gold defeating Tamil Nadu 2-0 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium.In swimming, Aastha Choudhury, hailing from Assam but representing Delhi in the Games, collected a gold medal in the U-17 girls 100m butterfly with a timing of 1:04.68. In the U-17 boy’s breaststroke 200mts, Swadesh Mondal bagged the gold medal. It was the fifth gold medal for the West Bengal swimmer. The other events held on the final day were boxing, tennis, and weightlifting.It may be mentioned here that around 10 thousand athletes and officials from the 37 teams took part in 20 disciplines during the 13-day Games.Also Read: Khelo India silver medal winner Kamdon Boi gets warm receptionAlso Watch: Minister of State for Education Smt. Vibhavariben Dave addresses Academia in Guwahati.