Georgia’s secretary of state accuses Lindsey Graham of pressuring him to toss ballots
Brad Raffensperger has claimed Graham and other Republicans are pressuring him to interfere in the election results
Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger accused fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of pressuring him to toss out legally cast ballots in the election.
Raffensperger told the Washington Post in an interview on Monday that he and his wife Tricia have been the subject of death threats and scrutiny in the aftermath of the presential election. President Donald Trump narrowly lost the reliably red state to President-elect Joe Biden, the first time the Peach State has voted Democrat for a president since 1992.
A recount is currently underway in Georgia where Biden is leading Trump by 14,000 votes.
“You better not botch this recount. Your life depends on it,” is one of the texts that Raffensperger allegedly received.
Raffensperger has reported the threats to the proper authorities.
“Other than getting you angry, it’s also very disillusioning,” Raffensperger said of the threats, “particularly when it comes from people on my side of the aisle. Everyone that is working on this needs to elevate their speech. We need to be thoughtful and careful about what we say.”
Trump filed a lawsuit in Georgia over concerns that 53 absentee ballots in Chatham County had not been received on time. A judge dismissed the suit but Lin Wood, a Trump supporter, filed another suit on Friday to block the certification of the vote in Georgia until all ballots are inspected.
Raffensperger has felt the ire of fellow Republicans who are upset that he has not acted in deference to Trump.
Raffensperger claims that he spoke to the South Carolina senator on Friday who allegedly asked him if he had the power to toss all mail-in ballots in counties found to have higher rates of nonmatching signatures. The Georgia secretary of state said that Graham also inquired about him finding ways to just throw away ballots. Raffensperger does not have the ability to do any of those things without a court order.
“It sure looked like he was wanting to go down that road,” Raffensperger said of Graham’s suggestions.
On Capitol Hill, Graham denied that he asked Raffensperger to commit any illegal acts, explaining away his comments as wanting to ascertain the integrity of the election.
“The main issue for me is: How do you protect the integrity of mail-in voting and how does signature verification work?” he said.
“If he feels threatened by that conversation, he’s got a problem,” Graham added. “I actually thought it was a good conversation.”
Raffensperger also blasted Rep. Douglas A. Collins (R-Ga.) who has criticized him for apparently not taking accusations of voter fraud more seriously. He even labeled Raffensperger incompetent at his job in a tweet.
“I’m an engineer. We look at numbers. We look at hard data,” he said. “I can’t help it that a failed candidate like Collins is running around lying to everyone. He’s a liar.”
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