Georgia Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue released a joint statement on Monday calling for the resignation of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger—also a Republican—accusing his office of failing to provide a fair an honest election without mentioning any specific examples or evidence to support their claims.
The GOP infighting comes after both Loeffler and Perdue won a plurality of the votes in their elections without reaching a majority, triggering Jan. 5 runoff elections with the balance of power in the Senate at stake. Loeffler will face off against Rev. Raphael Warnock (D), while Perdue faces Jon Ossoff (D).
“The management of Georgia elections has become an embarrassment for our state. Georgians are outraged, and rightly so,” the joint statement said. “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.”
Despite the Senators’ claims, there has been absolutely no evidence to suggest that any illegal votes were counted in Georgia. The Georgia Republican Party and the Trump campaign have already lost a lawsuit filed in the state seeking to have absentee ballots received after 7:00 p.m. on Election Day thrown out to prevent the “dilution” of legal votes after a judge ruled that the groups had produced no evidence to support claims of fraud.
In addition, Raffensperger’s office has been holding press conferences at regular intervals to keep the public updated regarding the status of the election. But that didn’t stop the Senators from casting a series of non-specific aspersions on the secretary’s handling of the process.
“There have been too many failures in Georgia elections this year and the most recent election has shined a national light on the problems. While blame certainly lies elsewhere as well, the buck ultimately stops with the Secretary of State,” they wrote. “The mismanagement and lack of transparency from the Secretary of State is unacceptable. Honest elections are paramount to the foundation of our democracy. The Secretary of State has failed to deliver honest and transparent elections. He has failed the people of Georgia, and he should step down immediately.”
— Emma N. Hurt (@Emma_Hurt) November 9, 2020
The claims also contradict statements made Monday afternoon by Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan. Appearing on CNN, Duncan, who’s also a Republican, said the state hadn’t seen “any sort of credible examples” of voter fraud that would credence the Senators’ allegations. Duncan also tweeted a call that Republicans “work together” to secure a Republican majority in the Senate, which will require at least one runoff victory in January.
It is critical that we all work together to secure a Republican Senate majority. Supporting Senators Loeffler and Perdue on Jan. 5 is necessary to ensure conservatives have a voice in Washington. Join us in this fight!https://t.co/ZtaFSFsj1a
— Geoff Duncan (@GeoffDuncanGA) November 9, 2020
Criminal defense attorney Scott Greenfield opined that the statement damaged the GOP’s chances at retaining a Senate majority, saying it “didn’t seem possible the Republicans could lose both seats in Georgia. Until now.”
It didn't seem possible the Republicans could lose both seats in Georgia. Until now. https://t.co/BEcTJ4zx9h
— Scott Greenfield (@ScottGreenfield) November 9, 2020
Others reacted to statement with sarcasm.
In a neat coincidence, both of these senators have run-off elections in two months where high Democratic turnout could be decisive. https://t.co/iD74gNdymC
— Matt Ford (@fordm) November 9, 2020
Raffensperger’s office also released a lengthy statement saying he was empathetic to the Loeffler and Perdue’s positions, but that he had no intention of resigning over their allegations.
“The process of reporting results has been orderly and followed the law. Where there have been specific allegations of illegal voting, my office has dispatched investigators,” he said. “My job is to follow Georgia law and see to it that all legal votes, and no illegal votes, are counted properly and accurately. As Secretary of State, that is my duty, and I will continue to do my duty. As a Republican, I am concerned about Republicans keeping the U.S. Senate. I recommend that Senators Loeffler and Perdue start focusing on that.”
[image via Alex Wong/Getty Images]
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