Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, has had it with Republicans who have been pressuring him to find some way – any way – to overturn the results of the 2020 election and hand the state’s 16 Electoral College votes to President Donald Trump.
President-Elect Joe Biden won Georgia by roughly 15,000 votes, but because the race is so close, the state is conducting a hand recount.
In an interview with The Washington Post on Monday, Raffensperger said that he and his family have been receiving death threats from voters who are incensed over Trump’s defeat.
One text that was sent to Raffensperger read: “You better not botch this recount. Your life depends on it.”
Raffensperger explained that he has become disheartened by the nastiness spewing from within his own party.
“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.”
The bulk of Raffensperger’s ire, however, was directed at GOP Congressman and United States Senate candidate Doug Collins, as well as Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
Raffensperger referred to Collins as a “charlatan” for publicly criticizing his oversight of the election, which falls under his purview as secretary of state. He told the Post that unfounded claims about voter fraud that are eminating from Trump and parroted by lackies like Collins are irrelevant – the only things that matter are the votes.
“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.”
Graham, meanwhile, suggested during a conversation with Raffensperger last Friday that Raffensperger should find a way to toss out legally cast ballots, the secretary recalled.
“It sure looked like he was wanting to go down that road,” Raffensperger said.
Graham responded on Monday, telling reporters that Raffensperger’s claim was “ridiculous.” He insisted that his main concern is, “how do you protect the integrity of mail-in voting and how does signature verification work? If he [Raffensperger] feels threatened by that conversation, he’s got a problem,” Graham added. “I actually thought it was a good conversation.”
Raffensperger also remarked on a lawsuit filed by a Trump-supporting lawyer that seeks to delay certifying the election results until mail-in ballot envelopes are inspected for matching signatures to those appearing on ballots.
But such a move would violate anonymity and place voters at risk for backlash.
“It doesn’t matter what political party or which campaign does that,” Raffensperger said. “The secrecy of the vote is sacred.”
Republicans have mounted additional attacks on the Dominion voting machines that were used in November’s election and that will be employed in January for Georgia’s two runoff US Senate races. Those contests will determine which political party contols the Senate for the next two years, and the stakes could not be higher.
Raffensperger explained that Republicans who sow doubt about the integrity of voting could cause serious damage.
“I don’t think it’s helpful when you create doubt in the election process,” Raffensperger said. “People might throw up their arms and say, ‘Why vote?’”
Sixty-five days until the inauguration.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.