A group of Georgia Republicans called on GOP voters to ignore allies of President Trump urging a boycott of the state’s Senate runoff elections, in an open letter released on Wednesday.
Republicans currently hold 50 Senate seats, meaning that if Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue both lose runoff elections on January 5, the Senate will be tied with incoming vice president Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote. However, lawyers Lin Wood and Sidney Powell, along with activist Ali Alexander, have urged Georgia Republicans to boycott the runoffs to protest alleged widespread voter fraud in the state.
Powell and Wood held a rally outside of Atlanta on Wednesday to urge the state’s Republican voters to withhold their support for Loeffler and Perdue unless the pair begin calling on Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp to investigate their baseless claims that the state’s voting systems were hacked.
“I would encourage all Georgians to make it known that you will not vote at all unless your vote is secure,” Powell said. “There should not be a runoff. Certainly not on Dominion machines.”
Wood, for his part, suggested that Kemp be imprisoned for certifying the election results and refusing to indulge the Trump campaign’s claims that Democrats “stole” the election.
“As far as I’m concerned, lock him up,” Wood said of Kemp.
“As former elected officials and long-time party activists, we must always act to ensure the integrity of the elections process,” the group of Georgia Republicans, including former senators Johnny Isakson, Saxby Chambliss, and Mack Mattingly, wrote in their letter.
“However,” the letter states, “we cannot let this ongoing work detract from a mission that only Georgia Republicans can accomplish: maintaining control of the U.S. Senate so that our children and grandchildren can continue to enjoy the national security, economic opportunity and personal freedom that have defined our great nation since its Founding.”
Other signatories include former governor Nathan Deal, former representatives Bob Barr and Jack Kingston, and several officials in the Georgia Republican Party.
On Thursday, former House speaker Newt Gingrich also criticized Wood’s and Powell’s call to boycott the runoffs.
“Lin Wood and Sidney Powell are totally destructive,” Gingrich wrote on Twitter. “Every Georgia conservative who cares about America MUST vote in the runoff. Their dont vote strategy will cripple America.”