Trump ‘really had no idea how elections work’, says Georgia secretary of state

Former president asked Brad Raffensperger to ‘find’ votes, new book claims

Jade Bremner
Tuesday 02 November 2021 15:57
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According to a transcript of a call to Georgia’s top elections administrator following the state’s election results, then-President Donald Trump pleaded “Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break”.

In a new book, Integrity Counts released on Tuesday by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the author details a call he had with the former president, following the results in Georgia.

“This repeated request for votes showed me that President Trump really had no idea how elections work. The secretary of state’s office doesn’t allocate any votes,” wrote Mr Raffensperger as an annotation on a 40-page transcript of the call, reported The Hill.

The transcript claims Mr Trump urged Mr Raffensperger to “find” enough votes.

Mr Trump supposedly said 4,925 people who lived outside Georgia had cast their vote in the state. Mr Raffensperger’s later investigation found this to be the case for 300 people. Mr Trump also said that he had been told that as many as 5,000 votes had been made in the names of deceased individuals. Mr Raffensperger’s post-election audit actually found there to be two ballots cast in the names of dead people.

“I didn’t know if he believed what he was saying. I didn’t know if he was trying to push a narrative,” Mr Raffensperger, the all-out conservative Republican, told The Hill in an interview ahead of his book release. “I’m disappointed like everyone else is. But the cold hard facts are that Trump did come up short in Georgia.”

Another allegation was that Fulton County officials were shredding voter registration records. Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts reported the allegation to county District Attorney Fani Willis at the time.

Fulton County did have a history of election problems, including long lines, inefficiency in reporting election results and other issues, but after an investigation, Mr Raffensperger clarified that it was the envelopes that were shredded, not voter registration forms or ballots.

“I wanted to respond to [Mr Trump] respectfully, but also let him know in no uncertain terms that what he just said was not supported by the facts,” Mr Raffensperger said. “Every single allegation that he made in that call and every allegation that his surrogates made, we ran those down and they were not supported by the facts.”

The Independent has reached out to Mr Trump for comment.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp changed election law in Georgia following President Joe Biden’s victory. Mr Raffensperger has supported some of the changes, which Republicans say will restore voters’ faith in casting their ballot in the state.

Democrats say the changes in legislation are a result of Mr Trump’s false claims of election fraud and will affect the state’s Black population. Changes are set to make absentee voting harder and put up restrictions for some voters, especially those in urban areas. Democrats are more likely to populate urban areas, meaning the legislation would likely work out in favour of Republicans.

President Biden won the state of Georgia by just 11,779 votes in 2020, out of nearly five million votes cast.

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