Battleground: Ballot Box

 

Our coverage continues here.

 

2:20 p.m., Dec. 7:
Certified Results Show Biden Still Won Georgia

Georgia's election results were recertified Monday to show President-elect Joe Biden still won the state, as officials continue to forcefully debunk misinformation pushed by top Republicans seeking to cast doubt on election integrity.

For a second time, and after a third count of Georgia's 5 million ballots, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he will take the official steps to confirm Biden's victory by about 12,000 votes.

"It's been a long 34 days since the election on Nov. 3," he said. "We have now counted legally cast ballots three times, and the results remain unchanged."

Read the full article here.

 

11:40 a.m., Dec. 7:
Federal Court Dismisses Powell Lawsuit Over Georgia's Election Results

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Trump-affiliated lawyer Sidney Powell seeking to overturn Georgia's election results.

Judge Timothy Batten, appointed by George W. Bush, issued the ruling from the bench Monday morning an hour into a hearing.

Among other reasons, Batten said the challenge belongs in state court, the claims were brought too late, and the request to overturn the election was extreme and unwarranted.

"In their complaint, the plaintiffs essentially asked the court for perhaps the most extraordinary relief ever sought in any federal court in connection with an election," he said.

— From GPB’s Stephen Fowler

 

10:40 a.m., Dec. 7:
Deadline To Register To Vote In Jan. 5 Runoff Is Today

Monday marks the last day for residents of Georgia to register to vote for the Jan. 5 runoffs that will determine the balance of power in the U.S. Senate.

Those who can register include anyone who turns 18 between now and the election.

Turnout is expected to be a huge driving factor as to which candidates win in January, and many Republicans have expressed fears that President Donald Trump’s continued attacks on the results of the November election could lead to many in the party sitting out the election.

Add Saxby Chambliss, a Republican who represented Georgia for more than 20 years in both the House and the Senate until 2015, to the list. 

Following the president’s rally in Valdosta on Saturday, Chambliss says he wishes Trump would have done more to address his supporters who are questioning whether they should vote on Jan. 5.

"I'm still concerned that there are some people who think that their vote didn't matter and they're simply not going to come out and vote," Chambliss told NPR. "I hope that's not the case. I hope he will continue to be very vocal about the fact that people need to vote."

The runoff election pits GOP Sen. David Perdue against Democrat Jon Ossoff for one of the state’s two U.S. Senate seats. Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler faces Democrat Raphael Warnock in the other contest.

Early voting starts next Monday, Dec. 14.

From GPB’s Wayne Drash

 

8:40 a.m., Dec. 7:
Kemp Bucks State Senators, Refuses To Appoint New Electors

Gov. Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan released a statement within an hour of Georgia’s primetime U.S. Senate runoff debates last night, rejecting a call from four state senators to hold a special session of the Georgia General Assembly to appoint new electors ahead of the Electoral College vote on Dec. 14.

While we understand four members of the Georgia Senate are requesting the convening of a special session of the General Assembly, doing this in order to select a separate slate of presidential electors is not an option that is allowed under state or federal law. State law is clear: the legislature could only direct an alternative method for choosing presidential electors if the election was not able to be held on the date set by federal law. In the 1960s, the General Assembly decided that Georgia’s presidential electors will be determined by the winner of the state’s popular vote. Any attempt by the legislature to retroactively change that process for the November 3rd election would be unconstitutional and immediately enjoined by the courts, resulting in a long legal dispute and no short-term resolution. The judicial system remains the only viable — and quickest — option in disputing the results of the November 3rd election in Georgia."

With Joe Biden’s win of Georgia’s popular vote, 16 Democratic electors are currently scheduled to presumably cast their electoral votes to confirm the president-elect’s victory. 

— From GPB’s Sarah Rose

 

8:20 p.m., Dec. 6:
Loeffler, Warnock Spar In Fiery Debate

Debate
Credit: Marylynn Ryan / GPB News

In the second U.S. Senate debate of the night hosted by the Atlanta Press Club, Sen. Kelly Loeffler and her opponent, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, sparred in a fiery, contentious debate that touched on a wide range of issues.

Loeffler doubled down on her campaign’s efforts to characterize Warnock as a far-left socialist, referring to him 14 times throughout the night as “radical liberal Raphael Warnock.”

When pressed by the moderators to concede that President Donald Trump had lost reelection, Loeffler instead reiterated that the president had the legal right to challenge the results.

“It's vitally important that Georgians trust our election process,” she said. “The president has every right to every legal recourse. And that's what's taking place.”

The senator also urged her supporters to vote in the upcoming runoff.

When asked by Loeffler to denounce socialism and Marxism, Warnock responded that he had always been a proponent of the “free enterprise system.”

“My dad was a small business owner, and during the Great Recession, you know what I was doing?” he said. “I was leading my church to build a community center where, among other things, we had a financial literacy center.”

When asked about her stance on the Black Lives Matter movement — a stance that has alienated members of the WNBA team she co-owns — Loeffler defended her record.

“The life of every African American is important and there is no place for racism in this country,” she said. “But there are organizations whose No. 1 goal is to defund the police. And we know that that hurts minority communities more than anyone.”

Both candidates said they would be willing to take a COVID-19 vaccine once it was available.

“I'm going to encourage my fellow Georgians to stay safe to get that vaccine,” Loeffler said.

“I will take it,” Warnock said. “I will encourage the folks who listen to me — people who are in my church and in the community — to take it.”

— From GPB’s Sarah Rose

 

6:25 p.m., Dec. 6:
Perdue Lets Empty Podium Speak For Him

Senate candidate Jon Ossoff has concluded his “solo” debate, sponsored by the Atlanta Press Club, the first of two U.S. Senate race debates this evening. Incumbent Sen. David Perdue declined to debate Ossoff earlier in the month and was represented by an empty podium.

“My message for people of our state in this moment of crisis: Your senator feels entitled to your vote,” Ossoff said. “Your senator is refusing to answer questions and debate his opponent because he feels he shouldn’t have to. He believes this Senate seat belongs to him. This Senate seat belongs to the people.”

— From GPB’s Sarah Rose

 

4:05 p.m., Dec. 6:
Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani Tests Positive For COVID

[5:15 PM] Stephen Fowler     President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani tested positive for COVID-19, according to the president. Here, Giuliani speaks to two Democratic state senators at a hearing in Atlanta Thursday
Caption
[5:15 PM] Stephen Fowler President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani tested positive for COVID-19, according to the president. Here, Giuliani speaks to two Democratic state senators at a hearing in Atlanta Thursday
Credit: Stephen Fowler / GPB News

President Donald Trump says his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has tested positive for coronavirus. The president confirmed in a Sunday afternoon tweet that the former New York mayor had test positive for the virus.

Giuliani has traveled extensively to battleground states in recent weeks in effort to help Trump subvert his election loss.

Trump wished Giuliani a speedy recovery, tweeting: “Get better soon Rudy, we will carry on!!!” Giuliani made an appearance earlier on Sunday on Fox News to speak about his legal challenges in several states on behalf of Trump.

— From the Associated Press

 

9:35 p.m., Dec. 5: 
Trump Attacks Election Results, Rips On Kemp At Georgia Rally

President Donald Trump on Saturday continued to falsely claim he won Georgia’s electoral votes while blasting the state’s Republican governor and secretary of state for not overturning election results.

At his first campaign rally after losing the election, Trump falsely told a crowd of several thousands of supporters in Valdosta, near the Florida border, that his election was rigged while encouraging them to vote in a Jan. 5 runoff that will decide control of the U.S. Senate.

Trump Valdosta
Caption
resident Donald Trump addresses the crowd at a rally for U.S. Senators Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga., who are both facing runoff elections Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in Valdosta, Ga.
Credit: AP Photo/Ben Gray

Trump, who lost Georgia’s 16 electoral votes by about 12,000 votes after an audit and a recount, said supporting Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in the runoff would help shape the future of America.

“The voters of Georgia will determine which party runs every committee, writes every piece of legislation, controls every single taxpayer dollar,” he said. “Very simply, you will decide whether your children will grow up in a socialist country or whether they will grow up in a free country.”

He called Perdue and Loeffler “two of the finest people you’ll meet” and said they were two of his biggest supporters in Congress.

If the pair lose to Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, the Senate would be split 50-50, with Democratic Vice President-elect Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.

Local and national Republicans have stressed the importance of this race as the last line of defense against a Biden administration agenda, with surrogates swarming the state on a daily basis. That includes a visit by Vice President Mike Pence to Savannah on Friday, where he dismissed some calls from fringe voices on the right to boycott the election.

“I actually hear some people saying, ‘Just don’t vote,’” he said. “My fellow Americans, if you don’t vote, they win.”

Trump Melania
Caption
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive to a campaign rally for Senate Republican candidates, Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., at Valdosta Regional Airport, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in Valdosta, Ga.
Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

But the president spent most of his remarks Saturday repeating baseless claims of election fraud in Georgia and other states, claiming falsely that he won Georgia, Wisconsin and other states certified for President-elect Joe Biden.

“And I have to say, if I lost, I'd be a very gracious loser,” Trump said. “If I lost, I would say, I lost, and I go to Florida and I take it easy and I'd go around and I'd say I did a good job. But you can't ever accept when they steal and rig and rob.”

The crowd lapped up Trump’s words, breaking out in chants of “Fight for Trump!” and “Stop the steal!" He played along and ripped on Gov. Brian Kemp for not intervening, telling the crowd, “Your governor could stop it very easily if he knew what the hell he was doing.”

At one point, Perdue took the microphone, tried to calm the crowd and looked directly at Trump. “God bless you. We love you, Mr. President,” he said. “We love the first lady, and we’re going to fight and win those two seats and make sure you get a fair-and-square deal in the state of Georgia.”

— From GPB’s Stephen Fowler

 

4:30 p.m., Dec. 5: 
Report: Trump Pressures Kemp To Overturn Election

President Donald Trump called Gov. Brian Kemp Saturday morning ahead of his visit to Georgia, urging the governor to "persuade the state legislature to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state,” according to the Washington Post.  

Trump AP
Caption
President Donald Trump listens during a ceremony to present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former football coach Lou Holtz, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, in Washington.
Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Trump also asked the governor to order an audit of absentee ballot signatures, the latest effort by the president to get Kemp to interfere in the 2020 election, the Post reported. The phone call came ahead of Trump’s visit to Valdosta to stump for Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler — the president’s first major political event since the Nov. 3 election.

Here’s more from the story: 

Hours before he was scheduled to hold a rally in Georgia on behalf of the state’s two GOP senators, Trump pressed Kemp to call a special session of the state legislature to get lawmakers to override the results and appoint electors that would back him, according to a person familiar with the conversation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private call. He also asked the governor to demand an audit of signatures on mail ballots, something Kemp has previously noted he has no power to do. Kemp declined the entreaty from Trump, according to the person.

Trump later tweeted at the governor and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for not doing more to intervene. 

The governor and secretary of state have repeatedly said they are following the law, which showed Biden carried the state by about 12,000 votes. 

The phone call came as Kemp grieves the death of Harrison Deal, a close family friend and young Loeffler staffer who died on Friday. 

A spokesperson with the governor’s office confirmed Trump called Kemp and said he “passed along condolences to the governor for the death of Harrison Deal.”

From GPB’s Wayne Drash and Stephen Fowler

 

3:50 p.m., Dec. 4: 
Loeffler Cancels Appearance At Pence Rally Due To Staffer’s Death

U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler announced she would not be able to attend Vice President Mike Pence's visit in Savannah today after learning one of her young staffers died.

Loeffler issued the following statement:

"It is with an extremely heavy heart that we mourn the loss of Harrison Deal. My heart aches for his family, and Jeff and I will continue to surround them in love and prayer in the days ahead. Harrison was a beloved member of our campaign team. More importantly, Harrison was a smart, bright, loving, loyal and outstanding young man. Harrison embodied the very best of this campaign - and the very best of our state. We will forever cherish and honor Harrison’s memory, and I ask every Georgian to join us in praying for his family during this difficult time."

Gov. Brian Kemp released a statement on Deal's passing on Twitter, saying Deal was like a son to him and that "weathering this storm will be the most difficult challenge yet" for the family in 2020.

 

Senator David Perdue also released the following statement:
 

“Bonnie and I are devastated to learn of the passing of Harrison Deal, a young man from Bulloch County. Harrison interned in my Atlanta office in the summer of 2019, and was currently working as a field representative for Senator Loeffler’s campaign. He was a member of the University of Georgia Class of 2022. Harrison was a smart, kind young man with a bright future ahead of him, and he is gone too soon.We are praying for his parents, Curt and Jenni Deal, and his sisters, Hannah and Halli. I ask the people of Georgia to join us in keeping the entire Deal family in their hearts on this terrible day.” 

 

From GPB’s Sarah Rose

 

3:30 p.m., Dec. 4:
Pence Comes To Georgia As Calm Before Potential Trump Storm

Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a briefing on COVID-19 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, in Atlanta.
Caption
Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a briefing on COVID-19 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, in Atlanta.
Credit: AP Photo/John Bazemore

Vice President Mike Pence is trying to help Republicans project a unified front in two high-stakes Senate runoffs as he campaigns in Georgia a day ahead of President Donald Trump’s potentially volatile visit to the state that will determine which party controls the Senate in January.

The vice president is campaigning Friday with Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, with the GOP roiled by Trump’s continued denial of his own defeat and his baseless attacks that Republican officials in Georgia, including the governor and secretary of state, enabled widespread voter fraud on behalf of President-elect Joe Biden.

His visit comes as some Trump supporters remain angry at Georgia Republican officials who certified Biden's victory in the state.

From the Associated Press

 

12:00 p.m., Dec. 4:
Claims Of Ballot Suitcases Don't Check Out

The president's legal team came to a Georgia State Senate hearing Thursday to share allegations of fraud and misconduct within Georgia's election. Most of the claims were false, misleading or lacking actual evidence.

During the nearly 7-hour meeting of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee chaired by outgoing State Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick), lawmakers were repeatedly told that Georgia's election, in which President-elect Joe Biden narrowly won the state's 16 electoral votes by about 12,000 votes over President Donald Trump, was illegitimate and needed to be tossed. 

The bulk of the hearing focused on arguments made by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who has traveled to multiple battleground states seeking to overturn results with dubious legal claims that allege a grand conspiracy to take the White House from President Trump. Thursday's trip to Georgia was no different.

Read the full article by GPB's Stephen Fowler here.

 

9:30 a.m., Dec. 4:
Politico: Trump’s Georgia Rally Sparks GOP Anxiety

From Politico: 

Georgia Republicans are excited that Donald Trump is coming Saturday to Valdosta to help save Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.

They’re also a little scared.

They’re not entirely certain what to expect from the president’s first postelection rally. Or how much he understands that the event is about helping the two endangered GOP incumbents get across the finish line in the Jan. 5 runoff, not advancing his own political interests or settling scores.

“It’s important that Trump comes and focuses on the Senate election and not the other peripheral sideshow of whining and complaining and making baseless accusations,” said Allen Peake, a former state legislator and self-described “mainstream Republican.” “But that’s kind of been his mode for the past four years. I don’t think he will change. So I’m very concerned about this on Saturday.”

Though Trump will tell his supporters to head to the polls for Loeffler and Perdue, he’s also likely to spread false conspiracy theories about a stolen election that could depress turnout — something he’s done nearly every day since being denied a second term. And he’s sure to bash a couple of fellow Republicans, Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, both of whom are up for reelection in 2022, for their roles in overseeing elections in a state Trump narrowly lost.

Read the article here
 

2:00 p.m., Dec. 3:
Trump Launches New Attack On Kemp

President Donald Trump on Thursday issued another withering broadside against Gov. Brian Kemp, calling on the governor to “immediately” act on Georgia’s election results and claiming that by doing so the president “would quickly and easily win the state.”

Officials have said there is no evidence of election fraud in Georgia that would reverse the election results that saw President-elect Joe Biden carry the state by about 12,000 votes. 

Kemp spokesman Cody Hall responded to the president on Twitter, reiterating a statement from Nov. 30 that begins: “Georgia law prohibits the Governor from interfering in elections.”

The attacks on Kemp have added another layer of intrigue to Trump’s visit to Georgia on Saturday, with political insiders wondering if the governor will appear alongside the president or skip the event. 

The governor’s office has yet to say what Kemp’s Saturday plans are.

From GPB’s Wayne Drash 

 

10:30 a.m., Dec. 3:
Will Trump’s Rhetoric Backfire Against Republicans In Jan. 5 Runoffs?

WABE’s Lisa Hagan reports for NPR today a powerful story about Republican fears that President Donald Trump’s heated rhetoric may stifle GOP turnout in the Jan. 5 runoffs and could hand Democrats control of the U.S Senate.

The story, headlined “Trump's Conspiracy Theories Raise Turnout Challenges In Georgia Senate Runoffs,” quotes one Republican voter as saying, “All of the news about the ballots, the electronic systems, all the different things that happen during the election and is continuing to come out. I don't feel secure about it.”

Hagan writes:

High-profile supporters of President Trump took the stage in Georgia Wednesday to spread conspiracy theories and tell the state's Republicans not to vote in the crucial U.S. Senate runoffs there next month. The outcome of those races will determine which party controls the Senate next year.

You can read the full story on NPR here

From GPB’s Wayne Drash

 

10:00 a.m., Dec. 3:
Obama To Attend Virtual Event Friday For Warnock, Ossoff

Former President Barack Obama will attend a virtual event Friday in support of Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff as Dems seek to gain control of the U.S. Senate.

Obama’s virtual attendance amplifies what is to be a flurry of high-profile visits to Georgia in coming days with so much at stake in the Jan. 5 runoffs pitting Warnock against Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Ossoff against Sen. David Perdue.

Vice President Mike Pence plans to stump in Savannah for the two Republican incumbents on Friday, and President Donald Trump heads to Georgia on Saturday to also rally support for Loeffler and Perdue.

The Warnock and Ossoff campaigns this morning announced the Obama event, adding that Congresswoman-elect Nikema Williams and Stacey Abrams, the former gubernatorial candidate who has become a champion of voting rights, will be in attendance.

“I am deeply honored to have the support of President Obama, and I look forward to this conversation with my friends Jon, Stacey and Nikema about the pressing issues facing Georgians,” Warnock said.

Ossoff said he hoped the event “will inspire this historic statewide movement to generate record-shattering turnout so we can end this COVID crisis, deliver affordable health care for all Georgians, and pass a new Civil Rights Act.”

From GPB’s Wayne Drash 

 

9:30 a.m., Dec. 3:
The Advocate: What Happens in Georgia Will Affect Every LGBTQ+ American

Jeff Graham, the Executive Director of Georgia Equality, has penned an op-ed for The Advocate on the impact the Georgia Senate races will have on the LGBTQ community.

The lack of protections in our state causes real and urgent damage: A recent study from the Center for American Progress shows that 1 in 3 LGBTQ Americans has faced discrimination in the past year, including 3 in 5 transgender people. Many of these folks have nowhere to turn when denied service, are evicted, or rejected from health care providers. Thankfully, local leaders recognize this struggle and are stepping up: Twelve Georgia municipalities have passed local ordinances prohibiting anti-LGBTQ discrimination, including Savannah, Statesboro, and Macon-Bibb County just this year. As important as these ordinances are, they’re not enough. When an LGBTQ person leaves an area with protections, they’re suddenly vulnerable to discrimination. A patchwork of protections just doesn’t work. That’s why we need to see LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination at the state and, most importantly, at the federal level. Georgia can do the right thing.

Read the full article here.

 

4:30 p.m., Dec. 2:
Turned Away As Poll Worker Over Felony, Savannah Man Files Suit

A Savannah man is suing the Chatham County Board of Elections because they turned him down as a poll worker due to a prior felony conviction.

 Samuel Scott was convicted of a felony in the 1980s, but DNA evidence later cleared his name. The state restored his right to vote in 2002. 

But when he applied to be a poll worker for the November election, the lawsuit alleges the board rejected him “because of his felonious history.” 

“Mr. Scott can run for office, Mr. Scott can vote, Mr. Scott could serve as the chairman of the Chatham County Board of Elections,” Scott’s lawyer Will Claiborne said. “But when he came and said ‘I want to help’ in one of the most consequential elections of our lifetime, they said, ‘You’re not welcome here.’” 

Claiborne said the board of elections has no written policy on this issue, which he called unconstitutional.

“If they’re going to have a policy, then they need to say what it is, they need to apply it fairly and evenly, and it needs to pass strict scrutiny,” Claiborne said.

The Board of Elections did not immediately return a request for comment.

From GPB’s Emily Jones

 

3:05 p.m., Dec. 2:
NYT: 2,596 Trades in One Term: Inside Senator Perdue’s Stock Portfolio

An examination of Mr. Perdue’s stock trading during his six years in office reveals that he has been the Senate’s most prolific stock trader by far, sometimes reporting 20 or more transactions in a single day.

The Times analyzed data compiled by Senate Stock Watcher, a nonpartisan website that aggregates publicly available information on lawmakers’ trading, and found that Mr. Perdue’s transactions accounted for nearly a third of all Senate trades reported in the past six years. His 2,596 trades, mostly in stocks but also in bonds and funds, roughly equal the combined trading volume of the next five most active traders in the Senate.

From The New York Times

 

2:18 p.m., Dec. 2:
Trump Tweets About Saturday Georgia Visit

President Donald Trump took a break from bashing Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffenspberger over the November election results to say he’ll be traveling to Georgia on Saturday to support “two great Republican Senators.” 

Trump said he was coming to the Peach State to support Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in Jan. 5 runoffs against Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. The election will determine the balance of power in the U.S. Senate. 

Details of the visit have not been officially released, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Politico reported the rally would be held in Valdosta. 

Loeffler responded enthusiastically to the Trump news, saying, “It’s an HONOR to have your full support.”

Perdue added, “Everything is on the line in this election, and I appreciate the President’s full support of @Kloeffler and me as we fight to save the Senate!”

With some Republicans threatening to sit out the runoffs due to distrust over the election system, Charlie Kirk, the founder and president of the right-wing conservative group Turning Point USA, penned an opinion piece in Newsweek, saying, “Eligible Republican voters, any true American voter, must turn out in Georgia to cast the ultimate defensive vote.”

“There are complaints about Sens. Loeffler and Perdue not being true ‘Trump-style’ Republicans,” Kirk wrote. “I understand that, but this is not the time for a purity test. Whatever the two candidates are, I know what they are not: Constitution shredding, far-left activists like Warnock and Ossoff. That is reason enough to support them. That is reason enough for me to head to Georgia.”

From GPB’s Wayne Drash

 

9:30 a.m., Dec. 2:
Trump Doubles Down, Says Georgia Election ‘Rigged’

If Gabriel Sterling with the secretary of state’s office hoped President Donald Trump would step up and condemn threats against election officials, it didn’t take long for him to get his answer.

Trump late Tuesday doubled down on his beliefs about the election, maintaining the election was “rigged” against him and saying, “Expose the massive voter fraud in Georgia.”

“What is Secretary of State and @BrianKempGA afraid of,” Trump tweeted. “They know what we’ll find!!!”

Election officials and Attorney General Bill Barr have repeatedly said there is no evidence of massive election fraud and that President-elect Joe Biden won by garnering a record 80 million votes.

In an emotional news conference Tuesday afternoon, Sterling said Republicans attacking the state's election system are "complicit" in harassment and threats against election workers, including death threats against Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his family in recent weeks. 

“It has all gone too far,” he said. “Someone is going to get hurt. Someone is going to get shot. Someone is going to get killed.”

 

Trump’s tweet came after the Trump campaign issued a statement following Sterling’s remarks: “The campaign is focused on ensuring that all legal votes are counted and all illegal votes are not. No one should engage in threats or violence, and if that has happened, we condemn that fully.”

Trump is expected to visit Georgia on Saturday, although details of the trip have not been released.

 

From GPB’s Wayne Drash

 

 

4:15 p.m., Dec. 1:
Sterling To Republicans: 'We Need You To Step Up' And Defend Elections

A top official in Georgia said Republicans attacking the state's election system are "complicit" in harassment and threats against election workers, including death threats against Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his family in recent weeks. 

"It has all gone too far," Gabriel Sterling said forcefully at a Tuesday afternoon press conference. "Mr. President, you have not condemned this language or these actions. Senators, you have not condemned this language or these actions."

Sterling said that a young technician with Dominion Voting Systems has faced death threats after social media users alleged he was altering vote totals in Gwinnett County, that supporters of President Donald Trump have posted Raffensperger's home address and trespassed onto his property and his wife was getting "sexualized threats" in recent weeks. 

“There are some nutballs out there who are going to take this and say, ‘The president told me to do this,’” Sterling said. “You have to be responsible. You have to be responsible in your rhetoric. You have to be responsible in your statements. You have to be responsible in your deeds. That shouldn’t be too much to ask.”

— From GPB’s Stephen Fowler

 

2:44 p.m., Dec. 1:
Barr: No Evidence Of Fraud That’d Change Election Outcome

Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday that the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud and has seen nothing that would change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Barr said U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working diligently to follow up on specific complaints and information they’ve received, but they’ve uncovered no evidence that would change the outcome of the election.

From the Associated Press

 

12:16 p.m., Dec. 1:
State Senate To Hold Hearings Thursday On ‘Integrity Of Georgia’s Voting Process’

Georgia Senate Republicans will hold two hearings on Thursday “to evaluate the election process to ensure the integrity of Georgia’s voting process,” leading GOP officials announced Tuesday.

The hearings, to be held by the Senate Government Oversight Committee and a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, come at a time when Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger have faced withering criticism from President Donald Trump and others on the far right about unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.

The hearings were announced in a joint statement from Senate President Pro Tempore Butch Miller, Majority Leader Mike Dugan, Majority Whip Steve Gooch, Majority Caucus Chairman John F. Kennedy, Majority Caucus Vice Chairman Larry Walker and Majority Caucus Secretary Dean Burke.

Raffensperger and his office have stood by the integrity of the election, saying it was the most secure in Georgia history. He has beaten back calls from some of his fellow Republicans to resign over the election, which saw President-elect Joe Biden carry the state by about 12,000 votes.

From GPB’s Wayne Drash 

 

9 a.m., Dec. 1:
AP: Trump Headed To Georgia As Turnout Driver, But Also A Threat

President Donald Trump participates in a video teleconference call with members of the military on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020, at the White House in Washington
Caption
President Donald Trump participates in a video teleconference call with members of the military on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020, at the White House in Washington
Credit: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Some establishment Republicans are sounding alarms that President Donald Trump’s conspiratorial denials of his own defeat could threaten the party’s ability to win a Senate majority and counter President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.

The concerns come ahead of Trump’s planned Saturday visit to Georgia to campaign alongside Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. They face strong Democratic challengers in Jan. 5 runoffs that will determine which party controls the Senate.

Republicans uniformly acknowledge Trump as the GOP’s biggest turnout driver. But some Republicans worry of potential fallout should Trump use the platform to amplify his baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud.

— From the Associated Press

 

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