Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Sunday pushed back against unfounded claims of voter fraud in the state in a series of social media posts, calling Representative Doug Collins (R., Ga.) a “failed candidate” and a liar.
Raffensperger criticized a lawsuit brought by Atlanta lawyer Lin Wood, best known for his defense of Richard Jewell in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics bomb threat case, over a March settlement with the Democratic Party that outlined changes in how signature matching on absentee ballots is handled. Wood has argued that the settlement was unconstitutional, therefore invalidating absentee ballots cast in the 2020 election.
In a Facebook post the secretary of state said his team had “secured and strengthened absentee ballots for the first time since 2005.”
“As Secretary of State the first thing I did was push legislation that —OUTLAWED—absentee ballot harvesting in Georgia,” he said. “Next, for the first time in the history of Georgia, Absentee ballots submitted through our electronic portal required photo ID. My team—we made that happen.”
He continued: “Lastly, let’s address this disinformation about signature match. We strengthened signature match. We helped train election officials on GBI signature match—which is confirmed twice before a ballot is ever cast. Failed candidate Doug Collins is a liar— but what’s new?”
He included a screenshot of a tweet by President Trump saying, “Absentee Ballots are fine. A person has to go through a process to get and use them. Mail-In Voting, on the other hand, will lead to the most corrupt Election is [sic] USA history. Bad things happen with Mail-Ins. Just look at Special Election in Patterson, N.J. 19% of Ballots a FRAUD!”
Raffensperger’s post comes days after Collins, who did not meet the threshold required to advance to the January run-off election for one of two open Senate seats in Georgia, said it was the secretary of state’s office that caused a recount to be necessary in the state.
“Frankly, the secretary of state’s office (Georgia) has caused this problem to develop. They’ve been continually problematic in this. And I will continue to call them out and force them to do this,” Collins told Newsmax, a pro-Trump news outlet, on Friday.
“The problem is we’re dealing in areas in which the secretary of state is setting the rules,” said Collins, who has been leading recount efforts in the state on behalf of President Trump’s team. “We’re having to challenge him on the rules. They seem to be changing as we go … but these ballots will be counted and we’ll see (that) those ballot counts.”
“There’s been a lot of concern about whether the voting machines actually count,” he added. “I want people to know that we’re fighting down here. There are multiple fronts. There’s not just one.”
A number of news outlets have projected President-elect Joe Biden as the winner in Georgia, while the Associated Press has projected Biden as the victor in the election without yet calling Georgia.
In another post, Raffensperger shared another of the president’s tweets, in which Trump claimed in July that mail-in voting would lead to a rigged election.
Raffensperger captioned the photo, “The state of Georgia has had no excuse absentee ballots since 2005— only those who request a ballot can vote absentee. GBI trained elections officials match your signature twice before any vote is cast.”
In a post in which he shared an article by the Associated Press titled, “Trump wrong on Georgia voter signature checks,” Raffensperger added again that Georgia had “strengthened signature match this year.”
“Elections officials received GBI signature match training, requiring a confirmed match **twice** before a ballot is cast. Second, we created an online portal for absentee ballots, which checked/confirmed the voters driver’s license,” he said. “In this state, voters cast their ballots in secret so that no political party or candidate can ever intimidate nor threaten a voter into changing his or her vote. We will continue to protect the integrity of the vote.”
Raffensperger’s posts are the latest example of infighting within the Republican party, after Georgia’s two Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, last week called on the secretary of state to resign.
“The management of Georgia elections has become an embarrassment for our state. Georgians are outraged, and rightly so. We have been clear from the beginning: every legal vote cast should be counted. Any illegal vote must not. And there must be transparency and uniformity in the counting process. This isn’t hard. This isn’t partisan. This is American,” Perdue and Loeffler said in a joint statement.
“While blame certainly lies elsewhere as well, the buck ultimately stops with the Secretary of State,” the pair said, adding that the “mismanagement and lack of transparency” from Raffensperger is “unacceptable.”
“He has failed the people of Georgia, and he should step down immediately,” Perdue and Loeffler said.