Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, lashed out on Monday over 'baseless' accusations coming from President Trump and his allies, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), questioning the validity of ballots cast in the state, according to the Washington Post.
In a wide-ranging interview about the 2020 election, Raffensperger expressed exasperation with a string of baseless allegations coming from Trump and his allies about the integrity of the Georgia results, including claims that Dominion Voting Systems, the Colorado-based manufacturer of Georgia’s voting machines, is a “leftist” company with ties to Venezuela that engineered thousands of Trump votes not to be counted. -Washington Post
"Other than getting you angry, it’s also very disillusioning," said Raffensperger, who says both he and his wife have received death threats in recent days. "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," he added.
While the Post doesn't directly address it, the central issue regarding ballots is a March 'Consent Decree' enacted by Raffensperger and approved by Governor Brian Kemp, allowing for the 'curing' of ballots bearing signatures that don't match state records, but only through a complicated process. Previously, mismatched ballots would be invalidated.
The Consent Decree signed by the Georgia Secretary of State, with the approval of Governor @BrianKempGA, at the urging of @staceyabrams, makes it impossible to check & match signatures on ballots and envelopes, etc. They knew they were going to cheat. Must expose real signatures!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 14, 2020
Raffensperger has been accused in a new lawsuit of 'unilaterally, and without the approval or direction of the Georgia General Assembly,' changing the process for handling absentee ballots - authority which rests with the legislature and not the Secretary of State or the Judiciary, which would therefore invalidate improperly counted absentee ballots.
I filed a lawsuit today in federal court in Atlanta to establish that the March 6, 2020 Consent Agreement by the GA Secretary of State rendered UNLAWFUL the 11/3 GA general election.— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) November 13, 2020
I am right under established law. https://t.co/3FBMWlPDmC
Meanwhile, President Trump further knocked Georgia's ongoing recount of roughly five million votes, tweeting on Monday that without the 'all important signature match' the recount is 'MEANINGLESS.'
Georgia won’t let us look at the all important signature match. Without that the recount is MEANINGLESS. Open up unconstitutional Consent Decree, NOW! @BrianKempGA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2020
The Fake recount going on in Georgia means nothing because they are not allowing signatures to be looked at and verified. Break the unconstitutional Consent Decree!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2020
And according to RealClearPolitics' Paul Sperry, Raffensperger didn't want to conduct a hand recount initially, but "wanted to just rescan the bar codes & be done with it."
BREAKING: Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger initially did not want to order a hand recount but "wanted to just rescan the bar codes & be done with it," said a source who discussed the recount w him. Under the state's new Dominion system, ballots r embedded in QR codes— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) November 16, 2020
Meanwhile, Raffensperger says 'there is currently no credible evidence that fraud occurred on a broad enough scale to affect the outcome of the election,' and that the ongoing recount will 'affirm' the results of the initial count. He also says it will 'prove the accuracy of the Dominion machines,' with some counties having already reported that their hand recounts exactly match machine tallies.
That said, a recount in one Georgia county has already found a disproportionate number of Trump votes.
Dominion: “Of the 2,631 votes sources at the elections office told CVN that it appeared that between 1,600 and 1,900 were cast for President Trump.” https://t.co/pchP4i0bgm— Julie Kelly 🇺🇸 (@julie_kelly2) November 16, 2020