It was the phonecall heard around the country — and yet, President Donald Trump's conversation with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger won’t do anything to change the election results in Georgia, or nationwide for that matter.
After the White House reportedly attempted to arrange a call between the president and Georgia’s Republican secretary of state on 18 different occasions, the two finally spoke directly in an hourlong phone call on Saturday.
A recording was subsequently obtained by the Washington Post, featuring Mr Trump pressuring Mr Raffensperger to overturn his electoral defeat in the state, saying he wanted to “find” over 11,000 ballots.
Mr Trump’s conspiracy theories and outright falsities surrounding the vote count in states where he lost to President-elect Joe Biden have been repeatedly debunked, though he has continued to promote allegations of rampant voter fraud ever since the November loss.
Follow live: Georgia Senate runoff election results
Regardless, the undemocratic efforts to overturn the electoral process have failed and Georgia already certified its vote, giving the state’s 16 votes in the Electoral College to Mr Biden. That vote was set to be certified on Wednesday — just days after Mr Trump called Mr Raffensperger demanding he announce the ballots had been “recalculated.”
And even if in some alternate universe the president successfully managed to have overturned the results of the election in Georgia, which hasn’t voted for a Democratic president since 1992, he’d still come up far short of the 270 electoral votes required to win the presidency.
Mr Trump only secured 232 votes in the electoral college in 2020, compared to Mr Biden’s 306. Mr Biden could have lost Georgia to the incumbent president and still went on to win the White House without the help of the reliably red state.
Mr Trump’s efforts to overturn the vote in Georgia have caused widespread controversy across the country and in the state where two runoff senatorial races are underway. Voters were set to flock to the polls on Tuesday, with reports indicating record level early voter turnout.
Millions of Georgia voters have already cast their ballots in the senatorial races, which sees two Republican incumbents in Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler facing off against Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Wornock. The votes have been cast in the midst of the president’s claims of voter fraud, which some Republicans have worried could depress turnout among their supporters.
Speaking out for the first time since the call was obtained by the Washington Post and heard by millions of Americans, Georgia’s secretary of state said the president had “bad data” and was “just plain wrong” about his voter fraud claims.
“I did want to make my points that the data that he has is just plain wrong,” Mr Raffensperger said. “He had hundreds and hundreds of people he said that were dead that voted. We found two, that's an example of just -- he has bad data.”
“It was pretty obvious very early on that we debunked every one of those theories that had been out there,” he said in an interview with ABC News’ Good Morning America on Monday, “but President Trump continues to believe them.”
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