Joe Biden
Joe BidenReuters

A manual recount of nearly 5 million ballots cast in Georgia showed Thursday that Joe Biden won the state, validating initial results.

The recount found that Biden received 12,284 more votes than President Donald Trump, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger plans to certify the election by Friday, a deadline set by state law to finalize results, the report said.

The hand recount, which also functioned as an audit of the election, mostly aligned with initial machine counts, the report said. It also uncovered almost 6,000 ballots in four counties that had been overlooked in the initial tally, resulting in Trump closing his deficit to Biden by 1,400 votes.

“Georgia’s historic first statewide audit reaffirmed that the state’s new secure paper ballot voting system accurately counted and reported results,” Raffensperger said Thursday night.

“This is a credit to the hard work of our county and local elections officials who moved quickly to undertake and complete such a momentous task in a short period of time,” he added.

The recount reviewed every ballot by hand, with humans reading the printed text or ovals on each ballot across Georgia’s 159 counties.

Biden is on track to receive Georgia’s 16 votes in the Electoral College, which will meet December 14 to cast their ballots for president.