Reacting to Donald Trump’s demands for a special legislative session to overturn the results in Georgia, the state’s top elections official has said the move would amount to “nullifying the will of the people”.
Brad Raffensperger told ABC that as a conservative Republican he was personally disappointed by the result in his state, but that this was not a reason to dispute its veracity.
“At the end of the day, what they're really trying to say is, if they did [overturn the result] — they would be then nullifying the will of the people. If you look at how the election turned out here in Georgia, President Trump got 10 per cent less votes in Cherokee County, which is a rich red county in this election cycle. Whitfield County in northwest Georgia, less than 4.5 per cent,” Mr Raffensperger told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week".
Mr Raffensperger was also questioned about the hostility he is facing from Republicans after Mr Trump called him an “enemy of the people”, to which he replied he has received “death threats, my wife has received sexualised texts, and things like that.”
The secretary also added that young poll workers and members of his office have been a target of this hostility, which he defines as "irrational, angry behaviour” and “unpatriotic."
Talking about Mr Trump’s claims of fraud, Mr Raffensperger said as a Republican he wished Mr Trump would have won, but “it looks like he doesn’t have enough votes to prevail.”
Amid the criticism from Mr Trump, his supporters and many from the Republican party from the day Georgia declared the historic victory of Joe Biden, the secretary of state repeated that his office is just doing its job, saying it was “the job of the party” to win votes.
"At the end of the day, we as Republicans didn't turn out enough voters. Our office, as secretary of state, is really just to look at what those vote totals were, and we report the results. And that's why it gets back to the state party (that) didn't do their job, didn't raise enough money, and didn't turn out enough people," Mr Raffensperger said.
President Trump has been repeating his demands for a process of signature verification in Georgia, saying that the overturning of the results of the 2020 presidential election could begin from there. However, the secretary of state has held his ground saying that there has been no widespread voter fraud, and that signature verification is not only part of the process already, but had been strengthened for this election.
Mr Raffensperger said: "We have never found systemic fraud, not enough to overturn the elections. We have over 250 cases right now. We have reached out to the governor and asked for additional manpower resources. So we can finish up these investigations quickly.”
“But right now we don’t see anything that would overturn the will of the people here in Georgia,” the secretary of state said.
Reassuring that the signature matches had been done responsibly, he said: "We always have been doing a signature match, in fact, our strength is in signature match.”
President Trump repeated his claims of voter fraud on Saturday in his first post-election rally, supporting the party’s senate candidates in the Georgia run-off election. "This election was rigged and we can't let it happen to two of the greatest, most respected people in Washington," he said, pointing to Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. "We can't let it happen again. Your governor could stop it very easily if he knew what the hell he was doing," Mr Trump said.
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