In an interview with The Washington Post, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger claimed Sen. Lindsey Graham, and other Republicans, suggested he find ways to exclude legally cast ballots, which the South Carolina senator denies.
Raffensperger, a Republican, told the Post he was under pressure from within his own party during the recount to bring about a more favorable outcome for President Trump in the state, which Joe Biden narrowly won with roughly 14,000 votes.
In their conversation, Graham questioned Raffensperger about the state’s signature-matching law and whether political bias could have prompted poll workers to accept ballots with nonmatching signatures, according to Raffensperger. Graham also asked whether Raffensperger had the power to toss all mail ballots in counties found to have higher rates of nonmatching signatures, Raffensperger said.
Raffensperger said he was stunned that Graham appeared to suggest that he find a way to toss legally cast ballots. Absent court intervention, Raffensperger doesn’t have the power to do what Graham suggested because counties administer elections in Georgia.
“It sure looked like he was wanting to go down that road,” Raffensperger said. (WaPo)
In an interview with reporters, Graham called Raffensperger’s allegation that he suggested tossing legal ballots “ridiculous.”
“The main issue for me is: How do you protect the integrity of mail-in voting, and how does signature verification work?” the senator explained.
“If he feels threatened by that conversation, he’s got a problem,” Graham said. “I actually thought it was a good conversation.”
Graham’s call to Raffensperger came the same day attorney Lin Wood filed a lawsuit in the state that “seeks to block certification of Georgia’s election until all ballot envelopes are inspected,” according to the Post. But the secretary of state said he plans to fight the lawsuit because it would jeopardize the secrecy of the vote, he said.
Wood has claimed corruption at the highest levels in Georgia and said "it will not stand."
The Georgia Governor & Secretary of State are corrupt. There was rampant voting fraud in GA depriving President Trump of a landslide win.— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) November 17, 2020
It will not stand. Trump won.https://t.co/jBCGTOu25Z
Even in the initial interview that blew up, Raffensperger says Graham "appeared to suggest" and “it sure looked like he was wanting to go down that road” which is PRETTY THIN to accuse a Senator of something so egregious. pic.twitter.com/oK1li5LiF4— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) November 17, 2020
Update II: “I know what I talked to the Secretary of State about, and it wasn’t for him to throw out ballots, that was beyond bizarre and ridiculous,” Graham told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Tuesday. “I was talking about a system and how it works and to make sure we have confidence in it.”