Georgia Official Says Graham Asked Him About Tossing Ballots
Nov 19 2020
A referral has been made to the U.S. Senate ethics committee asking its members to investigate whether U.S. senator Lindsey Graham improperly urged a Georgia state official to "disenfranchise Georgia voters by not counting votes lawfully cast for the office of president".
Recounting is allowed only after the state has certified the results and a candidate requests for it. "I called up the secretary of state to find out how you verify a signature and what database you use because I think it's important that if we're going to vote by mail, we get it right".
Addressing the issue on a call with reporters Wednesday, Georgia's voting implementations manager Gabriel Sterlingsaid that he was aware of the error and thanked the monitor for catching it, but ultimately called it a "non-issue".
State election officials must "accept" the results of the by-hand audit and confirm the results before moving into state certification. We noticed that there were more people on the absentee ballot file for voting in person in Fayette County than was in the actual reporting. Raffensperger said he chose the presidential race because of its significance and tight margin.
"If you got a 14,000 vote margin, very, very rare that an election's going to change with a recount", State Elections Board appointee Matthew Mashburn said. He has been facing calls to step down as chair of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee and to resign his from office entirely after allegations emerged that he tried to interfere with the vote tally in several key swing states. Almost 5 million votes were cast in the presidential election in Georgia, and Biden was leading President Donald Trump by about 14,000 votes. But when asked specifically whether Mr Biden had "rightfully won", 52 per cent of Republicans said Donald Trump rightfully won, while only 29 per cent said that Mr Biden had rightfully won.
Over the two weeks since the election, Raffensperger has been under attack from fellow Republicans, from the president on down.
Counties that undergo a recount will have 13 days to recount all their votes, starting on Thursday, according to procedures announced by the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Gwinnett and other counties in Georgia will wind up the process soon.
Raffensperger's office has consistently said it's likely the results will differ slightly from those previously reported by the counties but that the difference is not expected to change the outcome. There is nothing in the consent decree that keeps election workers from checking those signatures. In fact, Georgia requires that they be checked.
Clearing the air about another misconception, the officials clarified that no absentee ballots were sent to Georgia voters without them being requested.
As we noted yesterday we have seen nothing to suggest Graham did anything wrong - although we added that "picking up the phone and calling state officials directly during the midst of their work strikes us as ill-advised at best".
When asked about the conversation with Raffensperger, Graham said Monday that he was "trying to find out how the signature stuff worked". Two years ago, 454 absentee ballots were rejected out of 284,393. A 2016 presidential recount in Wisconsin netted Trump an additional 131 votes.