Raffensperger defends record, passes law as busy 2022 approaches
Besieged Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger defended his record on Monday as he faces continued criticism from his own party ahead of next year’s election.
In an appearance before the Rotary Club of Atlanta, the Republican state official rebuffed accusations he was responsible for the 2020 election losses. Raffensperger remains under siege more than a year later and after the former President Donald Trump and the electoral plots of his supporters have been repeatedly discredited.
Raffensperger reiterated that he continues to advocate for fair and honest elections, regardless of the political fallout. Trump narrowly lost in Georgia to Democrat Joe Biden.
By announcing his Main Republican challenge to Governor Brian Kemp, former US Senator David Perdue – who fell flat in his January second round against now-Sen. Jon Ossoff – claimed Kemp and Raffensperger ‘gave in’ to demands from Democrat Stacey Abrams who announced last week she is running again for governor.
Raffensperger has denied Perdue’s accusations, and despite three vote counts in last year’s presidential election and daily press conferences after the election, he said his office continued to tackle election misinformation from people like Trump and Perdue.
âWe were there almost every day, dispelling the rumors,â Raffensperger said. âYou have to understand that in my office on a good day we might have 40,000 Twitter followers and other people have 80 million Twitter followers.
âIt’s like the Swiss army is trying to confront the Americans,â Raffensperger said. âIt’s not that there aren’t good soldiers over there in Switzerland, but you are just understaffed. ”
Trump’s attacks on Raffensperger peaked in January when Trump sought to overturn Georgia elections by asking the Secretary of State to “find” enough voices change the result. Weeks earlier, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, had launched baseless theories of widespread fraud with mail-in ballots and electronic voting machines, which were quickly devoured by Republicans on legislative committees. States.
Today Raffensperger is in a rocky campaign with his main and toughest GOP competitor, possibly Trump’s ally, United States Representative Jody Hice.
Trump may have cost himself enough votes with his anti-election rhetoric with more than 28,000 voters skipping the presidential race on their ballots, Raffensperger said.
Raffensperger also highlighted the success of the 2020 election which has withstood a host of legal challenges and subjected to scrutiny by investigations by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the FBI and other agencies.
As for the future, Raffensperger said he believes the state will overcome the challenges of the US Department of Justice, Democrats and progressive organizations during the controversial overhaul of the vote which he says has had a good test with this year’s municipal elections.
He said the most significant change is to replace the subjective matching requirement of absentee signatures with a state identification requirement. But city election data shows more postal ballot applications were rejected in city-wide races due to the new, shortened application deadline.
Raffensperger also highlighted what he saw as the bright spots of 2020, such as low wait times for voters and election officials and election officers handling record turnout during the pandemic. He pledged to work on educating voters about the changes to absentee voting.
“We’re going to get this message out, so if people want to vote by mail, they’ll have this opportunity,” Raffensperger said. âThe last (data) we saw, the number of absentees fell to around 12%, which is about double the historical average but half of what it was last year. according to their natural habits, they will vote early or on election day.