Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who recently won re-election and who’s slated to lead the Senate Budget Committee if Republicans retain control of the Senate in the next Congress, has heartily embraced right-wing conspiracies about supposed suspicion-warranting elements of the recently concluded presidential election. On Monday, he reiterated his public insistence on a signature audit in Georgia, despite the fact that a meaningful re-check of actual mail-in ballots is impossible because election workers separated ballots from their envelopes (with the signatures) after the initial comprehensive signature verification process. Punitively checking every single mail-in ballot envelope without pairing these envelopes to any particular ballots might be a fool’s errand.
Graham tweeted as follows:
‘Must have audit of mail-in ballot signatures to have confidence in the presidential election outcome in Georgia! Only way to have an audit of signatures is for the GA Secretary of State to change his mind or special session of the legislature conferring power to create audit of signatures. Special session also could address problems associated with mail-in ballots before Senate runoff. Hope friends in Georgia will act while there is still time.’
At a recent hearing, Ryan Germany, who serves as the general counsel for the office of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (who is a Republican), poured cold water on the idea of auditing the signatures on mail-in ballot envelopes. He commented as follows:
‘These are law enforcement investigations. Obviously we want to make sure when we’re opening them that we’re doing it based off of allegations that are actually investigatable and not feelings of, “I don’t like the result of this election.”‘
There’s no indication that a special session of the Georgia state legislature will imminently get going in the first place. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, could summon a special session, but he has rejected demands for this maneuver. A special session could also get going if at least 60 percent of the members of both chambers of the state legislature signed on to the idea in writing, but Democrats comprise over 40 percent of the Georgia state House, so that option isn’t particularly viable.
Although Graham stuck to showily demanding action on mail-in ballot signatures, Trump recently demanded a special legislative session from Kemp where Georgia’s legislators could appoint members of the electoral college for the state who back the president, no matter the documented outcome of the state’s popular vote. Besides the brazen authoritarian bent of this proposal, under current circumstances, there’s not even any legal mechanism for intervention by Georgia’s legislature in the selection of members of the electoral college.
Check out Twitter’s response to Graham below: