GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are demanding that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger after deeming his handling of the 2020 elections an “embarrassment.”
In a joint statement that was tweeted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s political reporter Greg Bluestein, both Republican senators — who are both now facing run-off elections in January that could determine control of the Senate — blasted Raffensperger’s (R) “failures” that have garnered “national” attention.
A scathing joint statement from Georgia’s two Republican US Senators — @sendavidperdue & @SenatorLoeffler — both in a Jan. 5 runoff for control of the chamber. It flies in the face of other Republicans who have praised the handling of the election. #gapol pic.twitter.com/Znxcma6a5Q
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) November 9, 2020
“The management of Georgia elections has become an embarrassment for our state. Georgians are outraged, and rightly so,” the pair said in a joint statement.
“We have been clear from the beginning: every legal vote cast should be counted. Any illegal vote must not. And there must be transparency and uniformity in the counting process. This isn’t hard. This isn’t partisan. This is American,” the noted further.
On Friday, Raffensperger defended the state’s electoral processes after President Donald Trump and supporters accused him of mishandling absentee ballots.
“The stakes are high and emotions are high on all sides,” he told a news conference. “We will not let that debate distract us from our work. We will get it right.”
He also said that the thin margin separating both candidates will trigger a recount in the Peach State; Georgia Republican Rep. Doug Collins, who lost a Senate bid against Loeffler, will lead the recount for Team Trump.
“We’re committed to doing everything we can to maintain trust in our electoral process,” he said.
On Election Night, Trump was leading Democratic rival when election officials in Fulton County, which includes Atlanta, decided to stop counting ballots around 10:30 p.m. The count had already been delayed earlier in the evening after a pipe burst near a room where ballots were being tallied.
In the days since Biden closed the gap as tens of thousands of mail-in ballots, most for him, arrived. As of this writing, Biden is leading by about 11,000 votes in a state where Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 200,000 in 2016.
In their joint statement, Perdue and Loeffler said they both believe failures “need to be called out” when they occur.
“There have been too many failures in Georgia elections this year and the most recent election has shined a national light on the problems,” they said. “While blame certainly lies elsewhere as well, the buck ultimately stops with the Secretary of State.”
In September, Raffensperger announced that at least a thousand residents who allegedly voted twice in the state’s primary earlier this year.
“The mismanagement and lack of transparency from the Secretary of State is unacceptable,” the two GOP senators noted. “Honest elections are paramount to the foundation of our democracy.
“The Secretary of State has failed to deliver honest and transparent elections. He has failed the people of Georgia, and he should step down immediately.”
On Monday, however, Raffensperger said he had no plans to resign, though he acknowledged the senators’ frustrations.
“I know emotions are running high. Politics are involved in everything right now. If I was Sen. Perdue, I’d be irritated I was in a runoff. And both senators and I are all unhappy with the potential outcome for our president,” he told a press conference.
“But I am the duly elected secretary of state. One of my duties involves helping to run elections for all Georgia voters. I have taken that oath, and I will execute that duty and follow Georgia law.”