OUWA.org – Georgia secretary of state says Lindsey Graham implied he should try to throw away ballots. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger stood firm Monday on his account that Sen. Lindsey Graham had hinted that he should attempt to discard some ballots in Georgia, where a recount is underway after the state went for President-elect Joe Biden within the presidential election.
“He asked if the ballots might be matched back to the voters,” Raffensperger told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room” Monday evening. “And then he, I got the sense it implied that then you’ll throw those out for any if you check out the counties with the very best frequent error of signatures. So that is the impression that I got.”
He later added, “It was just an implication of, ‘Look hard and see what percentage ballots you’ll throw out.’ ”
Raffensperger’s comments come after he told The Washington Post on Monday that Graham had cast doubt on Georgia’s signature-matching law during a conversation on Friday, and had also floated the likelihood that biased poll workers could have counted ballots with inconsistent signatures.
Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also inquired if Raffensperger could discard all mail-in ballots from counties that had shown higher rates of unmatched signatures, the Republican secretary of state told the Post on Monday.
There has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud within the 2020 election, and fraudulently altering a federal election vote tally may be a federal crime.
Graham denied Raffensperger’s claim on Monday, telling CNN that he had said he wanted to know the method for verifying the signatures on mail-in ballots. He said President Donald Trump didn’t urge him to form the decision.
Asked if he was trying to pressure the secretary of state to toss legal ballots, Graham said, “That’s ridiculous.”
“What I’m trying to seek out was how does one verify signatures on mail-in ballots in these states that are the middle of attention? So like once you mail during a ballot, you bought to possess how to verify that the signature on the envelope actually matches the one that requested the ballot,” Graham said. “It seems to me that Georgia has some protections that perhaps other states do not have, where you enter the portal to urge your ballot. But I assumed it had been an honest conversation. I’m surprised to listen to him verify it that way.”
Graham added: “So they expanded mail-in voting, and the way you verify the signatures to me is that the big issue. If you are going to possess mail-in voting, you’ve to verify that the one that signed the envelope is additionally the one that requested the ballot.”
On Tuesday, Graham defended his outreach to officials in Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia as an effort to find out about how these states validate signatures on mailed-in ballots, arguing it had been a part of his effort to work out whether any changes got to be made — albeit Trump is projected to lose all three states and has made unsubstantiated claims of mass voting fraud.
“If we’re getting to expand voting by mail, which we probably will, I would like to form sure that we’re taking the precautions necessary to validate signatures like we do if you show abreast of polling day,” he told CNN.
Raffensperger told Blitzer that Georgia’s election systems already require signature matches when voters request mail ballots and when completed ballots are returned to election systems. He also said the web absentee portal features a photo ID.
“We feel confident the election officials did their job,” he said.
On Friday, CNN projected that Biden will win Georgia and its 16 electoral votes. Unofficial results put Biden before Trump by about 14,000 votes or about 0.3 decimal points. But thanks to the tight margin, state officials decided to use the preplanned audit process to recount every ballot within the presidential race.
At least six small counties in Georgia have finished their presidential recounts without finding any discrepancies. A seventh county, Floyd, reported that 2,600 uncounted ballots had been found during their recount — the ballots hadn’t been scanned when the county tallied its early vote. An investigation is underway but a human error has been deemed responsible.
Experts say it might be nearly impossible for Trump to beat his 14,000-vote deficit during a recount.
The audit process is predicted to conclude within the coming days, and Raffensperger reiterated Monday that he plans to certify the official results by Friday, as needed by state law.
“We want to form sure this vote is extremely accurate. We understand the national importance of this, and we’re within the process of doing it,” he told Blitzer on Monday. “The counters are going to be done by the 18th and that we will certify this by the 20th.”
The Republican spent a part of his Sunday fact-checking Trump and pushing back against false claims of fraud within the presidential election and therefore the hand recount ongoing within the state.
Raffensperger, among other things, defended the integrity of absentee ballots, signature verification, and therefore the vote-counting machines. He posted images of Trump’s tweets that falsely claimed that mail-in voting “will cause the foremost corrupt election in USA history” and end in “fraudulent ballots.” Raffensperger responded that his team “secured and strengthened ballot s for the primary time since 2005” by outlawing absentee ballot harvesting and also addressed the “disinformation about the signature match,” writing that “GBI trained elections officials to match your signature twice before any vote is cast.”
He also posted links to news articles debunking Trump’s tweets, including one alleging the Dominion voting software utilized in Georgia for the presidential election “deleted” and “switched” many votes. He also wrote, “Dominion electoral system . America owned. America. ‘Merica. Not Venezuela,” during the regard to conspiracy theories spread by Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Guiliani.
Underscoring the contentious atmosphere between Raffensperger and fellow Republicans, he went after US Rep. Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican, in one post writing, “Failed candidate Doug Collins may be a liar — but what’s new?” Collins is leading the recount team for Trump in Georgia and has criticized Raffensperger’s handling of the election.