Georgia’s Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler on Monday called for the resignation of the state’s top election official, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, as they accused his office of failing to oversee fair and transparent elections without evidence or raising specific concerns.
Their extraordinary joint statement on Monday came as the divide between Georgia’s Republicans deepened as Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s lead over President Trump continued to grow, pushing the president’s supporters to go after Mr. Raffensperger, who is a Republican.
“We believe that when there are failures, they should be exposed – even when it is in your own party,” said the senators in their statement, which did not make specific allegations or explain how. they thought Mr. Raffensperger had failed.
“Fair elections are essential to the foundation of our democracy,” they said. “The Secretary of State failed to organize honest and transparent elections. He let the Georgian people down and he should resign immediately.
Mr. Raffensperger responded quickly in a personal statement. “Let me start by saying that this is not going to happen,” he said.
“I know the emotions are running high,” he added. “Politics are involved in everything right now. If I were Senator Perdue, I would be irritated to be in a second round. And the senators and I are all unhappy with the potential outcome for our president.
Mr Raffensperger said the process for reporting the results was orderly and followed the law.
The results in Georgia drew attention and alarmed Republicans, as Mr. Biden outclassed Mr. Trump by more than 10,000 votes in a state that Mr. Trump won in 2016. Both senators were forced to participate in elections. second-round races against the Democrats, contests that could determine control of the Senate.
Mr. Trump continued to falsely insist that the election was stolen from him. The move by the senators, who have both been closely aligned with the president, also underlines the infighting unfolding among Republicans even as the party braces for a bitter showdown in the January second round.
Some conservatives fear that challenging the electoral process will depress the vote of Republican voters, who may not run if they do not trust the legitimacy of the electoral process.
“Trump is going to cost the GOP in the Senate,” Erick Erickson, a Georgia-based conservative commentator, written on twitter. “His supporters are internalizing the fact that the election in Georgia was stolen, so why even try.”
In a briefing ahead of the statement’s release on Monday, Gabriel Sterling, the head of the implementation of the voting system for Mr Raffensperger’s office, sought to debunk the various allegations that had been circulating and said the election went smoothly, despite long queues at times during early voting. . He noted that the average wait time to vote on Election Day was two minutes – “it’s unheard of in this state.”
“The facts are the facts, whatever the results,” he said, adding, “In this state, this time this election on Election Day has been an incredible success.”