Donald Trump has failed to produce meaningful evidence for his claims of widespread fraud in the recent presidential election. In Georgia, where Trump has feverishly complained about the electoral process, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (a Republican) has repeatedly refuted the president’s claims of widespread fraud. Trump has claimed that Raffensperger and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, a fellow Republican, have blocked signature verification from taking place, but that’s just not true. Comprehensive verification already took place, covering every single mail-in ballot, and meaningful re-checks of actual ballots are impossible because election workers separated envelopes (with signatures) and ballots after initial signature verification.
During an appearance on ABC’s This Week over the weekend, Raffensperger insisted that “right now, we don’t see anything that would overturn the will of the people here in Georgia.” He commented:
‘The people of Georgia spoke in this election, and obviously I’m a conservative Republican [and] disappointed in the results, but I said we’ll count every legal vote and work hard to make sure that no illegal votes are counted, and that’s what we’ve been doing. I don’t believe that there’s the will in the General Assembly for a special session.’
Check out his comments below:
Georgia Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger tells @GStephanopoulos that although as a conservative Republican he is “disappointed” President Trump lost Georgia, the people “have spoken” and “we don’t see anything that would overturn the will of the people.” https://t.co/CZSLEh9TP3 pic.twitter.com/VX6hXVc4P9
— ABC News (@ABC) December 6, 2020
On Saturday, President Trump personally spoke with Kemp, urging the governor to call a special session of the Georgia state legislature, where state legislators would pick members of the electoral college for the state who support Trump, regardless of the fact that President-elect Joe Biden won the popular vote in the state. Lawyers for Raffensperger’s own office have concluded that Georgia law doesn’t actually give state legislators any role in selecting the state’s members of the electoral college. The president’s plot is, essentially, an authoritarian fever dream concocted by someone absolutely desperate to remain in power.
Raffensperger, for his part, remains loyal to the Republican Party. Both of Georgia’s U.S. Senators, Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, have called for the Georgia Secretary of State to resign — but he says that he still supports their candidacies for the upcoming Senate elections in the state on January 5. Asked by host George Stephanopoulos if he still backs Perdue and Loeffler, Raffensperger replied as follows:
‘Absolutely. I’m a Republican. I vote for Republicans, so I wish them well. The job of the Republican Party is to raise money and turn out the vote. My job as Secretary of State is to make sure we have honest and fair elections. It’s as simple as that, and I think in my office, integrity matters.’
Watch his comments below:
ABC: You have two runoff elections coming up for Senate in Georgia. Both those Republican candidates have called for you to be removed from office. Do you still support their candidacies?
GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE RAFFENSPERGER: Absolutely. pic.twitter.com/r2f5KG5ERI
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 6, 2020
In Georgia, the presidential election was very close. With Trump peddling nearly constant lies about the electoral process, what if significant numbers of his own supporters in the state decide to sit out the upcoming Senate elections? Some right-wingers, like Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, have already publicly pushed this idea of sitting out the Senate elections as some form of protest.
The Senate elections in the state will determine control of the Senate. If Democrats win both, then the chamber will be 50-50, but vice presidents break ties, and the vice president will soon be Kamala Harris.