Georgia official: Senator ‘implied’ throwing out authorized votes | US & Canada
Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has accused Senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump supporter, of suggesting that the state cast legal ballots during the state president’s recount.
“I explained our process after going through two sets of signature matches, at which point they were separated. But then Senator Graham implied that we should check the envelopes and then cast the ballots for districts with the most common signature errors, “Raffensperger told CBS News on Tuesday.
“It sure looked like he was going that route,” Raffensperger said in an interview with the Washington Post on Monday.
Graham told the Post that Raffensperger’s allegation was “ridiculous”.
Raffensperger, a self-described Conservative Republican who “never voted for a Democrat,” and was endorsed by Trump during his successful 2018 undersecretary campaign, has come under increasing pressure from Trump and his allies as the state handcounts ballots.
At the first post-election vote count, President-elect Joe Biden had a 14,000-vote lead, which, if so, would make him the first Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1992.
Trump and his allies have outraged Raffensperger over unsupported claims that mismanagement and fraud have affected the state’s presidential election. He’s also received death threats, according to the Washington Post, including a text message that read, “You’d better not botch this recount. Your life depends on it. “
Trump spent the weekend attacking him on social media, once calling him “a so-called Republican (RINO),” the acronym for “Republicans on behalf only”.
The Georgian Foreign Minister, a so-called Republican (RINO), does not allow the people who check the ballot papers to see the signatures for fraud. Why? Without this, the whole process is very unfair and almost meaningless. Everyone knows we won the state. Where is @BrianKempGA?
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 14, 2020
Raffensperger hit back, denying Trump’s claims that he made it easier for Democrats to cheat with postal ballot papers. The secretary also called US Representative Doug Collins, who leads Trump’s recount efforts in Georgia, a “liar”.
Replied to Raffensperger’s “liar” label, Collins replied on Twitter Monday: “In a year of political division in Georgia, few things have united Republicans and Democrats – one of which is Brad Raffensperger’s incompetence as Secretary of State.”
Raffensperger – currently in quarantine after his wife tested positive for COVID-19 – has insisted that he be an impartial administrator of the Georgia elections with no desire or agenda to sway the outcome.
Trump and his allies claimed Raffensperger did not do enough to root out “illegal” votes.
“The secretary of state failed to hold honest and transparent elections,” said Georgia Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who neither won enough votes to avoid runoffs with their Democratic opponents in January, in one week Statement without offering evidence to support their claim. “He’s abandoned the people of Georgia and he should resign immediately.”
Raffensperger tried to survive the beating by appeasing Trump supporters. After the Trump campaign demanded a handcount of all five million votes cast in Georgia, Raffensperger selected the presidential election for a test that Georgian law now requires for one nationwide race per election cycle. He also insisted that all votes – not just a sample of ballot papers as is common for audits – be recounted and accounted for by hand.
Raffensperger has not shied away from his partisan label in all of this, but has told CBS News that he “wants to make sure that we have a lawful process because I think integrity is still important”.
“As a Republican, I wish the results were a different route, but I think at the end of the day you will see that this audit will check what the machines have been counting. And then we will certify it. “
On Monday, Floyd County discovered 2,600 ballots that had not been originally counted and will be added to the final count of the recount. Heavily Republican County is expected to give Trump an additional 800 votes, reducing Biden’s statewide lead to just over 13,000 votes.
BREAKING: A recount in Georgia’s presidential election revealed more than 2,600 ballots in Floyd County that were not originally counted, which likely helped President Donald Trump cut his 14,000 vote deficit to Joe Biden.
– AJC (@ajc) November 16, 2020
Raffensperger has firmly determined that he has seen no signs of widespread fraud or voting irregularities – and that he expects Biden’s leadership to stand after the exam is completed.
“We knew it was a stupid argument,” said Raffensperger on Monday in an interview with the radio station WDUN about the fraud allegations. “But hand counting brings that to bed.”