Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Tuesday that President Donald Trump cost himself the election in the state by discouraging absentee voting, claiming that otherwise the president would have won Georgia “by 10,000 votes.”
What are the details?
WSB-TV‘s Justin Gray reported that Raffensperger told him in an exclusive interview that roughly 24,000 registered Republican voters who voted absentee in the state’s primary election in June failed to vote in the Nov. 3 general election.
“Those 24,000 people did not vote in the fall,” Raffensperger said in video footage posted by WSB. “Either they did not vote absentee because they were told by the president ‘don’t vote absentee, it’s not secure,’ but then they did not come out and vote in person.”
Raffensperger then said that President Trump otherwise “would have won by 10,000 votes.”
He added, “He actually suppressed, depressed his own voting base.”
Live exclusive at 4 on @wsbtv: the typically mild mannered @GaSecofState comes out swinging in our interview – says… https://t.co/B45O48n8uH
— Justin Gray (@Justin Gray)1605644814.0
President Trump repeatedly criticized mail-in voting as states moved to expand the practice amid the coronavirus pandemic, but made a distinction between mail-in and absentee voting.
In June, the president tweeted, “Absentee Ballots are fine. A person has to go through a process to get and use them. Mail-In Voting, on the other hand, will lead to the most corrupt Election is USA history. Bad things happen with Mail-Ins.”
Raffensperger made the remarks as he oversees a full hand recount in the state, after Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was projected to win Georgia by a slim margin.
In recent days, newly found votes from Fayette and Floyd counties has been a boost for Trump, but Biden still retains a lead of 12,929 votes over the president.
Mainstream media has resoundingly called the election for Biden, projecting him to win 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232. But the election remains contested, as the Trump campaign continues to find for the race through litigation, alleging voting irregularities and fraud in several states.
In recent days, Raffensperger has fired back at other fellow Republicans, defending himself against attacks over his handling of the election process in a state that was seen as a solid Republican stronghold prior to it being called for Biden.
On Monday, the Georgia secretary of state accused Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, of suggesting during a phone call that Raffensperger toss some legal votes in favor of Trump. Graham vehemently denies the allegations.
Fellow GOP Georgians have also attacked Raffensperger, including incumbent Georgia Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who are both up for re-election in runoff races slated for January. The two issued a joint statement last week, calling the management of the general election “an embarrassment” for the state, and demanding Raffensperger resign.
Another federal GOP lawmaker from Georgia, Rep. Doug Collins — who failed in his bid to unseat Loeffler on Nov. 3 — called Raffensperger incompetent after the president tapped Collins to advocate on his behalf as the Trump campaign alleges widespread voter fraud in the state.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Raffensperger responded, calling Collins a “charlatan,” and telling the outlet, “I’m an engineer. We look at numbers. We look at hard data. I can’t help it that a failed candidate like Collins is running around lying to everyone. He’s a liar.”