“I’m a proud Trump supporter,” Brad Raffensperger noted this morning, but he’s smart enough to know that won’t be reciprocated. Georgia’s secretary of state announced that he would certify the results of the 2020 election today, declaring that “numbers don’t lie.” The hand recount and audits have corroborated the outcome of the presidential contest, but certification does open up at least one more opportunity for the Trump campaign to challenge:

Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, will certify the state’s presidential election results on Friday, likely between 10 a.m. and noon Eastern, making official the victory of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. there and ensuring that he would receive Georgia’s 16 electoral votes.

The certification will follow a hand recount of nearly five million votes that Georgia election workers performed over the past week.

Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs described the likely certification timeline in a text message Friday morning. At 8 a.m., Mr. Raffensperger, a Republican gave a news conference at the state capitol in which he stated, as he has numerous times, that Mr. Biden had won Georgia.

“Working as an engineer throughout my life, I live by the motto that numbers don’t lie,” Mr. Raffensperger said. “I believe that the numbers that we have presented today are correct.”

What happens next? Before Georgia can select its electors, it must give the Trump campaign an opportunity to challenge, but the timeline is very tight. The recourse open to Trump includes both court challenges and a recount demand, but there’s a catch to the latter:

The hand recount was part of an audit that is required by a new state law. It is not connected to any suspected problems with the results of this election or an official recount request. The law requires the audit to be completed before the counties’ results can be certified by the state, which must be done by Friday.

Mr. Trump can request a recount because the results were still within 0.5%, but not until after the state certifies its results.

Aaaaand a recount will have to be done by the machines, not by hand again:

Although there is no mandatory recount law in the state, the loser can ask for one if the margin of victory is less than half a percentage point, as is the case in Georgia. Mr. Trump will have two business days to do so. If he does, the recount will be done by high-speed scanning machines, a much faster process than a hand count.

Just to remind everyone, Georgia uses the Dominion system, which is at the center of the conspiracy claim spun by Sidney Powell yesterday. However, the hand recount showed no significant difference in ballots than the original machine counts, save for the uncounted ballots discovered by the audit. Team Trump scoffed that the hand recount didn’t matter because it counted the same “illegal” ballots, but notably didn’t complain about the system itself.

Jim Geraghty explains why:

If you put your faith in President Trump’s claim of a presidential election stolen through massive alteration of votes through the use of voting software, and the legal skills of Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, I am sorry to tell you that you have been conned. Whether or not Rudy Giuliani wants $20,000 per day as the New York Times reported, it is safe to conclude he expects to be well compensated for his work for the Trump campaign. He has a financial interest in dragging out proceedings for as long as possible.

Dominion Voting Systems works in 28 states and ran elections in Ohio, Florida, and other states that Trump won. In state of Florida, which Trump won by a wider margin than expected, the state division of elections certified their voting systems as safe, secure, and effective. That division answers to the Florida Secretary of State, Laurel Lee, who is a former assistant U.S. attorney and former judge appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis in 2019.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency have thoroughly examined the company’s hardware and software and found no vulnerabilities, no backdoors, no evidence of a secret way to alter the votes.

Perhaps Powell will produce evidence that eluded all of these efforts. But don’t count on it, and don’t count on Team Trump asking for another recount either.