Former Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams “conned” state Republican leaders into making changes to election law and voting rules that helped Joe Biden win, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday.
Biden’s alleged victory — the first for a Democratic presidential candidate in two decades — was due in large part to changes made by GOP state officials to signature ballots, the South Carolina Republican said.
Graham highlighted a consent decree regarding voter signature checks in Georgia stemming from a legal settlement reached in March in response to a lawsuit by the state Democratic Party that claimed minorities were impacted disproportionately when their ballots were rejected.
Analysts who have looked at, and criticized, the decree said the result was that it made it nearly impossible, as a practical matter, to verify signatures on ballots, thereby opening the door to fraud.
“Stacey Abrams conned the Republican leadership in Georgia into a consent decree that basically adulterated the signature verification system so that you’re comparing the ballot signature to the application signature,” Graham said during an appearance on The Mike Gallagher Show.
“They’re the same person who did the fraud. You should be comparing the ballot signature, the envelope signature on the ballot, to a signature that existed before the application was made. She changed that,” he said.
Graham’s comments were made in the broader context of Republican voter angst and frustration at seeing their candidates pick up seats in the House and in legislators and governor’s mansions across the country, while President Donald Trump appears to have lost in key states.
“If you’re worried, there’s nothing wrong with you,” Graham said. “The media doesn’t want to talk about this because Stacey Abrams said she was cheated out of the  governor’s race. She was hailed as a hero by every media outlet in the country as fighting for democracy.
“Donald Trump is fighting to have a fair day and to change systems that I think are flawed, and all of a sudden he’s the enemy of the people,” the South Carolina Republican continued.
“The media wants Trump to lose. They’re not going to give any credibility to these allegations, but the allegations are real in Georgia,” he added.
“If [GOP Sens. Kelly] Loeffler and [David] Perdue lose in Georgia, we’re screwed,” Graham said. “Conservatism is in a world of hurt, so these two senators have to win to stop the most radical agenda coming through the Senate out of the House in the history of the country.
“We’ve got to fight for Trump,” he continued.
Graham noted that the president’s legal team, in a lawsuit filed with the state, is seeking a signature audit of at least a portion of mail-in ballots to see if the signatures match those on file with county clerks.
Georgia election officials have conducted a number of recounts since Election Day but are merely counting the same ballots without doing a forensic audit.
Gov. Brian Kemp has called for one, but he doesn’t have the authority to order one; that would have to be done by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), and thus far he has refused to do so.
Graham said in addition to an audit, Georgia legislators should change voting laws ahead of the two run-off elections early next month involving Perdue and Loeffler to ensure they are fraud-free.
He also said Kemp does have the authority to call a special session of the Georgia legislature to have members order an audit and to change the signature consent decree ahead of the Jan. 5 elections.
“To the Republican leadership in Georgia, you are turning a deaf ear to the people and you will pay a price for this.”
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