WASHINGTON, Nov 14 — Democrat Joe Biden has won southern United States’ Georgia and its 16 Electoral College votes, widening his lead in the Electoral College by a margin of 306 to 232, multiple US media outlets projected on Friday, reported Xinhua news agency.

Sitting President Donald Trump was projected on Friday to have picked 15 electoral votes from southern state North Carolina, which he won four years ago.

Georgia and North Carolina are the final states to be called on Friday, 10 days after the Election Day.

As of Friday afternoon, Biden led Trump by more than 14,000 votes with 99 per cent of precincts reporting in Georgia, which had not voted for a Democratic White House hopeful in almost 30 years.

A full hand recount of nearly 5 million casts in the state has already been ordered, with the audit expected to be done by Nov 20 when the state must certify its election results.

With the margin being so close, it will require a full, by-hand recount in each county,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, announced on Wednesday.

“This will help build confidence. It will be an audit, a recount and a recanvass all at once,” Raffensperger said.

The former vice president’s margin in Georgia currently stands at just 0.3 percentage point. Trump’s margin in North Carolina is more than 73,000 votes, or 1.3 percentage points, according to a New York Times report.

A combination of changing demographics and rapidly growing urban and suburban populations in recent years have shifted the political playing field in the Peach State, local analysts said.

Biden was also projected to have won Arizona, another traditional red state, on Thursday night

According to major media projections, Biden has flipped five states that Trump won in 2016. The others were Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Trump did not flip any state that then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

Also on Friday, a Michigan state judge rejected an attempt by two pro-Trump poll challengers to block the certification of a Biden win in Detroit, which helped carry Biden’s victory in the midwestern state, said a CNN report, adding that the judge also denied the request for an audit of the election.

“It would be an unprecedented exercise of judicial activism for this Court to stop the certification process of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers,” wrote Chief Judge Timothy Kenny.

It is the second legal challenge the Trump campaign has filed in Michigan, where Biden was projected to have won by roughly 145,000 votes.

The previous one was reportedly similar and rejected earlier this month.

In another development, lawyers for the Trump reelection campaign have dropped a lawsuit seeking a review of all ballots cast in Arizona on Election Day after finding that the margin of victory for the presidential contest in the state could not be overcome, said the CNN report.

“As we’ve said, the Trump campaign’s lawsuit was frivolous and their motion to withdraw any claims of relief related to the presidential campaign confirms that this was nothing more than a waste of time,” the Biden campaign said in a statement on Friday, urging the country to move forward.

A The Hill report said on Friday that the Trump campaign has ended a hotline it established last week for Americans to report voter fraud allegations after the line was filled with prank calls and messages mocking the president’s reelection bid.

The Trump campaign has also filed legal challenges in states of Georgia and Pennsylvania since the Nov 3 Election Day, and it has said it will pursue a recount in Wisconsin.

According to media reports, Biden is leading in each of those states, and the Trump campaign has so far failed to present concrete evidence of fraud on a widespread scale despite claims from the president.

Biden declared victory for the US presidential election on Saturday night, hours after he was projected to have won Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes and thus passed the required 270-vote threshold.

Trump has not conceded and is mounting challenges in court over allegations of voter fraud and counting misconduct.

Federal law sets what is called the “Safe Harbor” deadline, falling on Dec 8 this year, the day by which states must submit the winner of the presidential election if they are to be insulated from legal disputes.

Electoral College representatives will meet six days later, on Dec 14, to formally select the next US president.


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