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Secretary of State talks election security with Forsyth Rotary

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Brad Raffensperger

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger touted Georgia’s election security March 1 in a meeting with the North Forsyth 400 Rotary Club at the Coal Mountain Community Center.

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger touted Georgia’s election security March 1 in a meeting with the North Forsyth 400 Rotary Club at the Coal Mountain Community Center.

Raffensperger, who is up for reelection this year, has faced criticism from fellow Republicans since the 2020 general election saw President Joe Biden win the state, giving Democrats their first presidential win in Georgia since 1992.

Some Republicans have accused Raffensperger of complicity in voter fraud, though the claims have been almost entirely debunked. Gubernatorial candidate David Perdue — who was seeking re-election to his U.S. Senate seat and lost — even called for Raffensperger to resign in the wake of the 2020 election.

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In his talk with the Rotary Club, Raffensperger was quick to dispel any rumors of electoral fraud among the crowd of about 25. He emphasized that the state had recounted by hand every ballot cast in the November 2020 election, and the state never found any significant variance in the numbers. He said there was a miniscule number of voter fraud cases in the state, but that every offender was facing consequences.

The Secretary of State largely attributed former President Donald Trump’s loss in the state to the 28,000 voters whom he said voted in their state or local elections but did not vote for a presidential candidate.

Raffensperger also touted Senate Bill 202, also known as the Election Integrity Act, the sweeping elections reform bill the state Legislature passed last year. The bill passed amid widespread criticism from Democrats, who argued the bill’s provisions would lead to voter suppression.

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Raffensperger said that while there was no widespread fraud, some areas did face challenges in running the election. He pointed to Fulton County, where thousands of voters faced hours-long lines, both during the 2020 primary and general election. Raffensperger said the law introduced measures to hold county election departments accountable for such “meltdowns.” Opponents argued that the measures constitute a state takeover of local elections.

“The number one thing that voters hate, we found, is long lines,” Raffensperger said. “So they think that all voting should be like going to Chick-fil-A: keep those lines short.”

Raffensperger pointed out that The Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based conservative policy think tank, ranked Georgia as the no. 1 state for election integrity this year.

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In his closing remarks, Raffensperger said he wished for more honesty from political candidates who lost their elections.

He noted lawsuits had been filed against the state by organizations associated with Stacey Abrams after her 2018 loss against Gov. Brian Kemp, as well as Trump’s challenges to Georgia’s elections process after the 2020 election.

Raffensperger faces challenges from other Republicans in the May 24 primary election, including from U.S. Rep. Jody Hice.

Reach Jake Drukman at 770-847-8334. Follow him on Twitter @DrukmanJake.