Georgia sets timeline for Trump-requested vote recount

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump waves as his motorcade leaves the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, U.S., November 22, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Georgia will begin recounting votes from the Nov. 3 election again on Tuesday at 9 a.m. EST (1400 GMT), in response to a request from President Donald Trump's campaign, a state official said.

The new recount, which is not expected to alter certified results that show President-elect Joe Biden won the election, will end at midnight on Dec. 2, according to Gabriel Sterling, the Georgia official who oversees voting systems. The recount will be conducted by electronic scanners.

Georgia certified its election results last week after conducting a laborious manual recount.

The Trump campaign petitioned for another recount on Saturday. Georgia law allows a candidate to request a vote recount within two business days of certification, if the margin is less than 0.5 percent. Biden defeated Trump in Georgia by a 0.26 percent margin.

The Trump campaign has also demanded an audit of the voter signatures that accompanied mail-in ballots. Sterling offered no definitive response, but told reporters that such an action would be unlikely unless ordered by a court.

Republican Trump has been defeated repeatedly in his persistent legal battle to overturn the election results in a string of states and prevent Democrat Biden from being sworn in on Jan. 20. Trump and his campaign have made unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.

Electors in each state will convene as the Electoral College on Dec. 14 to formally select the next president. Biden won 306 electoral votes, 36 over the 270 threshold needed to win.

(Reporting by David Morgan, Editing by Franklin Paul and Grant McCool)

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