Georgia elections chief battles fellow Republicans, Trump

apnews.com
5 min read
fairly difficult
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's secretary of state is a man on an island, and the political flood is rising fast, as President Donald Trump and his allies vent their outrage at the fellow Republican and...
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, in Atlanta. Georgia election officials have announced an audit of presidential election results that will trigger a full hand recount. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, in Atlanta. Georgia election officials have announced an audit of presidential election results that will trigger a full hand recount. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

make unsupported claims that mismanagement and fraud tainted the state's presidential election.

Trump spent the weekend attacking Brad Raffensperger on social media, at one point calling him "a so-called Republican (RINO)," an acronym for "Republican in name only." Raffensperger punched back, disputing Trump's claims that he made it easier for Democrats to cheat using mail-in ballots.

The secretary also called U.S. Rep Doug Collins, who is running Trump's Georgia recount effort, a "liar," and says South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham called him in an apparent effort to pressure him to improperly discard ballots. Graham dismissed the allegation as "ridiculous."

The current battle is a switch for Raffensperger. The 65-year-old, bespectacled engineer spent most of his first two years in office taking abuse from Democrats, who filed lawsuits alleging that Georgia, under then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp, engaged in illegal voter suppression in 2018. Kemp, the Republican candidate who narrowly won the governorship over Democrat Stacey Abrams that year, denies the claims.

Also left in Raffensperger's lap was a breakneck race to replace Georgia's outdated voting machines in time for 2020 — an undertaking complicated in its closing stretch by the coronavirus pandemic.

Through it all, Raffensperger — currently in quarantine after his wife tested positive for coronavirus — has insisted he's an impartial administrator of Georgia…
Jeff Amy
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