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CORONAVIRUS CASUALTIES (Nov 30):- GLOBAL:- Total Cases: 6,34,96,623; Total Deaths: 14,71,976 Recovered: 4,38,74,616 BELGIUM:- Total Cases: 5,76,599; Total Deaths: 16,547 BRAZIL:- Total Cases: 63,35,878; Total deaths: 1,73,120 CANADA:- Total Cases: 3,74,051; Total Deaths: 12,076 CHINA:- Total Cases: 86,530; Total Deaths: 4,635 FRANCE:- Total Cases: 22,22,488; Total Deaths: 52,731 GERMANY:- Total Cases: 10,68,980; Total Deaths: 16,830 INDIA:- Total Cases: 94,62,739; Total Deaths: 1,37,649 INDONESIA:- Total Cases: 5,38,883; Total Deaths: 16,945 IRAN:- Total Cases: 9,62,070; Total Deaths: 48,246 ITALY:- Total Cases: 16,01,554; Total Deaths: 55,576 JAPAN:- Total Cases: 1,46,760; Total Deaths: 2,119 MEXICO:-Total Cases: 11,07,071; Total Deaths: 1,05,655 NETHERLANDS:- Total Cases: 5,23,478; Total Deaths: 9,376 PHILIPPINES:- Total Cases: 4,31,630; Total Deaths: 8,392 RUSSIA:- Total Cases: 22,95,654; Total Deaths: 39,895 S KOREA:- Total Cases: 34,201; Total Deaths: 526 SPAIN:-Total Cases: 16,64,945; Total Deaths: 45,069 SWEDEN:- Total Cases: 2,43,129 Total Deaths: 6,681 SWITZERLAND:-Total Cases: 3,27,072; Total Deaths: 4,753 UAE:- Total Cases: 1,68,860; Total Deaths: 572 UK:- Total Cases: 16,29,657; Total Deaths: 58,448; US:- Total Cases: 1,38,74,209; Total Deaths: 2,73,956 - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    
Manual recounting of votes begins in Georgia, media rush to declare results

Georgia had announced recount last weekend when the margin in the presidential polls was thin, going by the State's rule. Each State has its own rules for the conduct of polls and certifying the results. Later Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced on Wednesday the audit of the results will be by hand count. "This will build confidence," he said.

ATLANTA, Nov 13: The manual recounting of votes cast in the presidential election on November 3 in Georgia started 9 am Friday (7:30 pm IST Friday) and will continue till Wednesday 11:59 pm (10:29 am IST Thursday). The counting was prompted by a razor-thin margin between the winner and the loser. Democrat Joe Biden had a majority of just 14,000 votes against incumbent Republican President Donald Trump.

The first to start was Cobb County election staff who began the recount of the presidential ballots at the Jim Miller Park Event Center in Marietta, with 80 workers. They have 4,14,000 ballots. Eight political party workers and some citizens are keeping a watch of the recount. Social distancing is being maintained. Some counties have live feeds. There are 5 million ballots in the State as a whole.

By just afternoon NBC, ABC and CNN started making a call in Georgia, predicting Biden as the undisputed winner.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has gone into self-quarantining as his wife has tested positive for coronavirus. He is negative. This will not affect the recounting work, his office said.

Raffensperger announced at a press confrence in Atlanta on Wednesday the audit of the election results will be by band count. "This will build confidence." "With margin being so close, it will require full by hand recount in each count." Starting by weekend, it will culminate before November 20, the State's deadline to certify its final vote count. He said, "Mathematically you actually have to do a full hand by hand count of all because the margin is so close. We want to start this before the week is up."

Fellow Republicans had asked him to resign over what they called mismanagement of elections. But now with what he said Trump is happy with the recount. Raffensperger said even after November 20 certification one can ask for a recount if the margin is or below the set limit of 0.5% but then it will be by machine count.

Georgia had announced recount when the counting finished last weekend with a thin margin for Joe Biden. Each State has its own rules for the conduct of polls and certifying the results. In Georgia, the rule allows a candidate to ask for recount when the margin is or below the set limit of 0.5%. This request is made after the certification of the results which is within 20 days of the election. In the present case, the Secretary of State sought the recount before certification, on his own.

The recount rules in some other States are: In Michigan it is a margin of less than 2,000 votes; Wisconsin: margin less than 1%; Pennsylvania: 0.5%. Historically, there has not been much change seen in recount.

Trump had been saying from day one of counting when he started losing the initial lead as the counting of early ballots progressed that "election is far from over". All the same he falsely declared victory in the wee hours of Wednesday, November 4. He filed several lawsuits in the States like Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, losing several of them without being even admitted. He was alleging without evidence electoral malpractices in polling and counting by the Democratic party, which he a month before the voting also forecast unmindful of the office he occupies.

The funny side is, his most allegations of fraud relate to Republican-ruled States. There are also differences within the party. At any rate it is an irony that a President is accusing the Opposition of rigging the polls. It is usually the other way round.

Trump is also on record saying stupid things things like he had "such a big lead" on election night only to see the leads "miraculously disappearing" later in the week.

However, much may be said on both sides. To the extent that the results have not been officially certified by the States, Trump is legally right when he does not accept Biden's premature victory speech and pronounce that "election is far from over". Biden's celebration followed the announcement by the national news agencies and networks although they are traditionally accepted entities for the purpose of endorsing the results and this has been the custom in the past.

Meanwhile, the General Services Administration of the White House refused facilities and funds for Biden's transition team to start transition work as is the practice.

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