GOP Infighting Continues As Georgia Secretary Of State Does Some Late-Night Debunking

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 06: Georgia Secretary of State Ben Raffensperger holds a press conference on the status of ballot counting on November 6, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 2020 presidential race between incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is still too close to call with outstanding ballots in a number of states including Georgia. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 06: Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger holds a press conference on the status of ballot counting on November 6, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
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November 16, 2020 11:38 a.m.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger took to Facebook Sunday night to debunk some of President Donald Trump’s tweets, revealing the current schism in the party. 

The Republican Raffensperger — by no means a never-Trumper — has already come to verbal blows with Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) after the two called for his resignation. The senators cited vague accusations of “lack of transparency” and “mismanagement” as grounds for his removal. He dismissed the critiques and has defended the state’s election. 

On Sunday night, he again showed a willingness to push back against Trump’s constant flow of tweets claiming that his election loss was due to fraud.

In one, Trump spewed his usual nonsense about mail-in voting being rife with corruption. 

In response, Raffensperger touted his own attempts to make it harder for people to vote by mail, a piece of the decades-long voter suppression campaign in Georgia that has consistently disenfranchised minority voters. 

“As Secretary of State the first thing I did was push legislation that —OUTLAWED—absentee ballot harvesting in Georgia,” Raffensperger wrote. “Next, for the first time in the history of Georgia, Absentee ballots submitted through our electronic portal required photo ID. My team—we made that happen.”

He also took a jab at “failed candidate Doug Collins,” calling him a “liar.” After Rep. Collins (R-GA) finished outside the top two for the runoff in one of the state’s Senate races, he was tapped by the Trump campaign to spearhead their recount efforts in Georgia. Raffensperger announced that the state would conduct a hand-recount after President-elect Joe Biden finished about 14,000 votes ahead of Trump. 

In another tweet, Trump claimed that Dominion Voting Systems, a company that provides technology for ballot counting, deleted millions of votes nationwide. In reality, there was an issue in one Michigan county where a clerk didn’t update the software, though the problem was fixed and all votes were counted. Still, the conspiracy theory has taken off in the fever swamps of OANN and is now being amplified by Trump’s megaphone.

Raffensperger linked to a fact check of Trump’s claims, and added that the company is not Venezuelan, as Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has been claiming.

In a couple other late-night posts, Raffensperger also touted the state’s signature matching requirements, and pushed back against Trump’s claims that his ballot counting monitors were being kept out of the room.

The Trump-Raffensperger conflict is likely a harbinger of things to come. With the two January Georgia Senate runoffs bearing the weight of chamber control, the state will become ground zero for fraud accusations most of the Republican Party has become happy to accept and amplify, despite their baselessness. 

Trump’s narrative, while fact-free, has caught fire with his base. Just last weekend, thousands of Trump supporters flooded into D.C. for a “million MAGA march.” They paraded (mostly maskless) through the streets, trucks blinking “STOP THE STEAL” on their LED displays.

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