On Monday, incumbent Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler slammed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, saying he had not released a list of newly registered voters. Raffensperger has since responded, saying that the senators’ campaign offices “already have the data.”
The reason the two senators have concern over new voters derives from threats by Democrats that they will temporarily move to the state in order to vote in the two senatorial run-off elections in order to win the seats so they can control the U.S. Senate. Voters who moved to the state in that fashion would violate state law.
The statement from Perdue and Loeffler read:
It’s been one week since the voter registration deadline passed and the secretary of state has failed to compile and release a final list of newly registered voters. This is totally unacceptable – the deadline for new voter registration was Dec. 7, 2020. In-person early voting starts today, and the public remains without a full accounting of who is registered and who may attempt to cast a ballot in the runoff. This lack of transparency needs to be rectified immediately, or the integrity of our elections will remain threatened. Georgians demand transparency, accountability and accuracy in our elections process – and the secretary of state is failing to provide it in a timely manner.
In response, Raffensperger’s office released a statement Tuesday advising the senators to “call their campaign offices” and quoting the National Republican Senatorial Committee confirming that their campaigns “have those lists.”
“The National Republican Committee (NRSC) requested and received copies of the newly registered Georgia voters every day and the NRSC confirmed that it shared that public data with the Perdue and Loeffler senate campaigns,” the press release reads. A representative from the NRSC is quoted in the release as saying, “They have those lists.”
“Raffensperger has launched investigations into several groups, including one founded by former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, for seeking to ‘aggressively’ register ineligible, out-of-state or deceased voters’ before the state’s Jan. 5 Senate runoff elections,” Fox News reported Monday.
One GOP voter who waited more than an hour to vote told Reuters, “We can’t risk it being close. I hope any Republican who sat on the sidelines (in November) will come out and vote this time.”
Reuters added, “Democratic activist Stacey Abrams, who lost a race for Georgia governor in 2018, told CNN that 1.2 million absentee ballots have been requested thus far, with 85,000 of those coming from people who did not vote in the general election, and they are disproportionately young and people of color.”
The Wall Street Journal, citing data compiled by University of Florida professor Michael McDonald at the U.S. Elections Project, reported on Monday, “The opening of some polling locations for voters comes as roughly 1.2 million voters already have requested absentee ballots for the runoff election, and more than 200,000 of them have returned their ballots.”
Last Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence stated at a rally in Augusta, Ga., “I know we all got doubts about this last election. I know I do. But I actually hear some people saying, here in the Peach State, ‘Just don’t vote.’ My fellow Americans, if you don’t vote, they win.”
The Republicans currently hold a 50-48 lead in the U.S. Senate. If the Democrats win the two Senate seats, the resulting 50-50 tie would be broken by the Vice President, which would mean the Democrats would control all of Congress as well as the White House.
This article has been updated to include Raffensperger’s response to the senators’ allegation.
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