As part of an effort to reverse President Donald Trump’s election loss and tout unfounded claims of election fraud, Republic lawmakers have allegedly put pressure on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to question the validity of absentee ballot votes in the state that went to President-elect Joe Biden.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Raffensperger said one of those Republicans was Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who questioned Georgia’s signature-matching law and whether political bias could have affected poll workers accepting ballots for the 2020 election. At one point in his conversation with Raffensperger on Friday, the secretary of state said the lawmaker appeared to suggest that he find a way to toss out legal ballots. “It sure looked like he was wanting to go down that road,” Raffensperger said. Graham denied Raffensperger’s allegations, saying in a statement to The Wall Street Journal: “That’s ridiculous...what I’m trying to find out was how do you verify signatures for mail-in ballots in these states...I thought it was a good conversation, I’m surprised to hear him characterize it that way.”
As the state heads into a recount because of the slim voting margins, Raffensperger insisted the move will only “affirm” the results of the initial count. Despite his trust in Georgia’s final tally, Raffensperger said he is frustrated by the countless baseless claims Trump and some of his closest allies continue to assert against his state. Raffensperger said their rhetoric has become so antagonistic that both he and his wife have received death threats, including a text with the message: “You better not botch this recount. Your life depends on it.” “It doesn’t matter what political party or which campaign does that,” Raffensperger stressed. “The secrecy of the vote is sacred.”