Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, sharply criticized two the state's two Republican senators on Monday after the lawmakers called on him to resign, citing his “failures,” without citing evidence, of his management of the election.
“The voters of Georgia hired me, and the voters will be the one to fire me,” Raffensperger said in response to GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. “As Secretary of State, I’ll continue to fight every day to ensure fair elections in Georgia, that every legal vote counts, and that illegal votes don’t count.”
Perdue and Loeffler, whose races are headed to a runoff in January, claimed in a statement that there was “mismanagement” in the election and a lack of transparency from Raffensperger regarding the process for counting ballots, echoing unfounded claims from President Donald Trump who has refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden.
The state's 16 electoral votes have not allotted to either presidential candidate, but Biden is leading by a slim margin in the state with 99 percent of the expected vote in, according to NBC News. The state is headed for a statewide recount, but Raffensperger said a change in the outcome is "unlikely."
The Georgia Republicans will have rematches against Democrats two weeks before Biden’s inauguration as control of the Senate is likely to come down to the Jan. 5 runoff. Perdue is facing off against Jon Ossoff and Loeffler faces Rev. Raphael Warnock.
Raffensperger pressed the senators to reform voting laws, noting that federal, not state laws, are responsible for some issues in administering elections. He also suggested they should focus on their runoffs.
“Now that Senators Perdue and Loeffler are concerned about elections, hopefully, they can fix these federal laws,” he said. “As a Republican, I am concerned about Republicans keeping the U.S. Senate. I recommend that Senators Loeffler and Perdue start focusing on that.”
Raffensperger defended the work of his office, noting the historic turnout in the state — more than 5 million voters — and the legislation passed by the state’s Republican legislature that made absentee voting easier in this election. He also called their accusation that he has not been transparent “laughable,” noting the regular updates from his press office.
“If I was Senator Perdue, I’d be irritated I was in a runoff,” he said. “And both Senators and I are all unhappy with the potential outcome for our President.”
Raffensperger said he would investigate any voter fraud in the state but it is unlikely to change the outcome of the election.
“Was there illegal voting? I am sure there was. And my office is investigating all of it. Does it rise to the numbers or margin necessary to change the outcome to where President Trump is given Georgia’s electoral votes? That is unlikely,” he said.