While Republicans have worried that Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud, particularly focused on Georgia, could affect the outcome of the Senate runoffs in January, he’s now being more blatant in attacks on the upcoming vote.
Trump has held only one rally for the two Republicans who face their Senate race in January. Party officials feared that with the rally focused on himself, he was doing more harm than good. Even when Pence held a rally in his stead, he referred to it as a “Trump rally” and supporters in the crowd chanted “four more years” — despite the presidential election being quite clearly over.
Now Trump is joining some of his more ardent supporters in openly pushing for Republicans to refuse to vote in the January runoffs unless Georgia election officials jump through some impossible hoops.
Some GOP influencers have demanded what they’re defining as better election security measures, including increased signature verification. This demand relies largely on widespread ignorance of how signature verification works. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger recently responded to criticism of the process from Georgia GOP Chairman David Shafer, saying that no evidence had been presented of any problems with the signature match process.
1st, there has been no evidence presented of any issues with the signature matching process. 2nd, our office repeatedly told the GA Rep Party, including David Shafer himself, that the signature verification process was—and always has been—public and that they could observe it. https://t.co/3GQ7fnP5jd
— GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (@GaSecofState) December 8, 2020
However, any process that allowed signature-matching after ballots have been counted, requiring signatures (and thus names or identities) to be attached to the ballots themselves would destroy the secrecy of the ballot that has been a cornerstone of the American election process.
Still, Trump isn’t just demanding, in his tweets, that a process be established for improving signature verification before the January runoffs — he says David Purdue and Kelly Loeffler won’t win in January “unless these people allow Signature Verification in [the] presidential race.”
To be entirely clear, there was signature verification in the Presidential race. Signatures were verified before ballots were separated from the privacy envelopes. Trump is demanding the impossible, gaslighting his supporters, and sabotaging his own party’s Senate efforts — all over his own loss.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com