Georgia Secretary of State: Trump “had no thought how elections work”

(The Hill) – Former President Trump demonstrated virtually no knowledge of the conduct of modern electoral processes in a long and rambling phone conversation with Georgia’s top electoral administrator when he ticked a number of debunked and fanciful conspiracy theories that he blamed for his electoral defeat.

The man on the other end of that call in early January, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), describes months of suspicion and disinformation immortalized by the Trump campaign that led to their conversation in a new book released Tuesday was released, “Integrity Counts”. . ”

The book includes a roughly 40-page transcript of the call itself, showing Trump increasingly excitedly reaching for allegations that Raffensperger and his senior deputy systematically refute when then White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows urged Georgia officials to conduct further investigation and Trump urged Raffensperger to find enough votes to provide the state’s electoral vote.

President Biden is the first Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton, who won Georgia’s electoral vote by 11,779 votes.

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“Guys, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break, ”Trump said according to the minutes to Raffensperger and Ryan Germany, the Secretary of State’s General Counsel.

“This repeated call to vote showed me that President Trump really had no idea how elections work. The State Secretariat does not give any votes, ”writes Raffensperger in a comment on the appeal.

“At the time of the call in January, I didn’t know if he believed what he was saying. I didn’t know if he was trying to advance a narrative or did he just believe in things that were fed to him? ”Raffensperger told The Hill in an interview. “As a conservative-capitalized C Republican, like everyone else, I am disappointed. But the cold hard facts are that President Trump fell short in the state of Georgia. ”

Trump said he was told that ballot papers had been cast on the names of up to 5,000 dead; Raffensperger’s post-election review revealed that two people had voted on behalf of deceased relatives. Trump claimed 4,925 voters residing in other states cast their votes in Georgia; Raffensperger found 300 foreign voters. Trump Accused Fulton County Officials Of Destroying Thousands Of Ballot Papers; Raffensperger counters that Cobb County officials shredded empty envelopes and no ballot papers.

“I wanted to answer him respectfully, but also to make it clear to him that what he just said is not supported by the facts,” said Raffensperger. “Every single allegation he made on that call, and every allegation his deputies made, we investigated and they were not substantiated by the facts.”

Raffensperger and others immortalized in the cauldron of misinformation from Trump supporters shed an uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous spotlight on the months following the November election. An anonymous person sent Raffensperger’s wife a threatening text message. An election worker who did not name Raffensperger to protect the little personal life she had left was harassed by Trump supporters who mistakenly believed she had committed misconduct.

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Another man, Ron Raffensperger, was molested by some who thought he was the secretary’s brother; Brad Raffensperger has no brother.

“We are a nation of law; we believe in the rule of law. We have a constitution. We have state laws, we have federal laws, ”said Raffensperger. “For people to threaten my wife, daughter-in-law, our family, poll workers, poll workers in 75, 80 percent of Trump counties in Georgia, that’s absolutely horrific behavior. If these people’s parents and grandparents saw what they did and said, they’d probably put them all in the woodshed because that’s not how your mother raised you.

Raffensperger has supported some of the electoral law changes that came in Georgia after the November elections, measures that Republicans say are intended to increase security and curb fraud, but which Democrats are supposed to restrict access to the elections.

When asked whether there was widespread electoral fraud in the US, Raffensperger said: “No, it doesn’t.”

Raffensperger, who is up for re-election next year, has stayed for Trump and his followers. He faces a challenge from Rep. Jody Hice (R) who upholds the refusal to vote and has received support from Trump in response.

“I think what I showed is that people know that I fought hard to make sure we hold honest and fair elections and make sure we keep them,” he said, “said guard rails for accessibility and safety.” Raffensperger. “What I work on every day to manage myself. So I can look in the mirror, look at my wife, look at my children, look at my grandchildren and know that I did the right thing. I did what was true. I did what was noble. And that keeps me pretty busy. ”

Raffensperger did not want to say whether, in his opinion, Trump is morally suitable to become president. Instead, he was glad that he was responsible for organizing the elections in Georgia.

“I think you could say that God sent me to this time when He knew I would have the courage and the conviction to do the right thing. And I’m very grateful that I did that, ”he said. “Because it was right, because it was based on facts, it was based on the law, it was based on the constitution.”