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Are Trump and Biden Close Enough for a Recount in Georgia, Pennsylvania?

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Twenty years after the famous Florida recount in the Bush vs. Gore presidential race, America could be facing another contested election as key states leave President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden in a similarly tight situation.

The 2020 election is likely to come down to a handful of states and Trump’s campaign already has indicated they’ll request a recount in Wisconsin. Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania have yet to be called, but the candidates are within a point of each other in all three and, if it remains that close, either side could push for a recount if it is the difference between their candidate becoming president or not.

However, believing a candidate is entitled to a recount and being able to request one depends on the rules in individual states.

In Arizona, recounts are automatically done if the difference is less than or equal to the lesser than .1 percent of the number of votes cast for the two leading candidates. As of Thursday evening, 2,886,181 votes have been cast collectively for Biden and Trump, meaning the margin of difference would need to be 2,886 votes. Candidates are not allowed to request one.

This combination of pictures created on September 29 shows President Donald Trump and Democratic Presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden squaring off during the first presidential debate at the Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 29. The presidential election is coming down to a few key states and if a candidate wants to request a recount, it’ll require an analysis of each state’s law.
JIM WATSON,SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty

Nevada, with a more liberal policy for recounts, allows any candidate defeated in any election to demand and receive a recount regardless of the margin. Trump trails Biden by .9 percent with 76 percent of the votes reported, according to the Associated Press. Nevada would give Biden the six electoral votes he needs to reach 270 if his hold on Arizona stands. If Biden keeps Arizona, Trump also needs Nevada, as well as Pennsylvania, Alaska, North Carolina and Georgia.

In Georgia, the margin of a candidate’s loss must be less than 0.5 percent of all the votes cast in the state for the candidate to request a recount. Trump has the edge on Biden with 99 percent of votes reported, but only by a .1 point margin, so Biden’s campaign would be within the rules to request a recount.

Pennsylvania also is shaping up to be a close race and has processes in place for an automatic recount, as well as a requested one. An automatic recount is required if the winning margin is 0.5 percent or less. If the margin is outside those requirements, three voters in each district can request one if they submit an affidavit alleging errors in total within five days of the election.

Trump had a significant lead over Biden in Pennsylvania on Election Day, but as mail-in ballots were counted, the gap between them narrowed significantly. As of Thursday night, he had less than 100,000 more votes than Biden. Without Pennsylvania, Trump has no path to victory.

Newsweek reached out to the Trump campaign for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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