Recount laws in Georgia: What are the rules

Wednesday morning arrived without a clear winner in the November 3 election, with hundreds of thousands of votes left to be counted in Georgia. 

As results from the 2020 presidential election continue to pour in, the race in Georgia remains tight.

Laws concerning recounts vary from state to state and Georgia has unique laws pertaining to how a recount is triggered. 

According to Georgia laws, if no federal candidate receives 50% +1 vote on November 3, 2020, the top two vote-getters advance to a January 5, 2021, runoff.

It has been determined that the special election for the U.S. Senate seat from Georgia will in fact be headed for a January 5 runoff between Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock. 

RELATED: Was my vote counted? A state-by-state guide to tracking your absentee ballot

Loeffler and Warnock were the top two finishers in a crowded field that also included Republican Rep. Doug Collins.

Unlike some states, Georgia does not automatically initiate a recount. However, if a candidate falls with a 0.5% margin, a recount can be requested.

Georgia law also states that a recount must be requested within two business days following the certification of results. State law does not specify who pays for the recount. 

President Donald Trump currently leads former Vice President Joe Biden by around 87,000 votes.


Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said at a late Wednesday morning press conference that he expects to finish counting around 200,000 votes by the end of the day.

“Every legal vote in Georgia will count,” Raffensperger said.

President Trump has claimed the hotly contested states of Florida, Texas and Ohio, while Democratic nominee Joe Biden won Minnesota and flipped Arizona.

Meanwhile, former Vice President Biden is the projected winner of Minnesota, Colorado, and New Mexico. 

RELATED: 2020 Election Results: Interactive Electoral College map results

The key states of Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Arizona remain too close to call.