Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) said in an opinion piece published in USA Today on Wednesday that even as his state became embroiled in a national dispute over election integrity that was weaponized by the Trump campaign, his own family, who voted for President Donald Trump’s reelection “lost” when a recount revealed President-elect Biden’s lead.
“My family voted for him, donated to him and are now being thrown under the bus by him,” Raffensperger said of President Trump.
The remarks come as Trump and his allies make baseless accusations of election fraud in a state that typically votes overwhelming Republican and that Trump won in 2016.
“By all accounts, Georgia had a wildly successful and smooth election,” the Republican state official wrote in the op-ed. “This should be something for Georgians to celebrate, whether their favored presidential candidate won or lost. For those wondering, mine lost.”
Raffensperger has received the brunt of President Donald Trump’s fury over his election loss in Georgia.
Trump has stooped to his characteristic name-calling, referring to the state official in tweets as a “so-called Republican.” Trump has repeatedly railed on Raffensperger’s efforts to uphold the integrity of the vote in a state that entered battleground status this year and ultimately flipped from ruby red to blue, with Biden’s win.
Georgia tallied roughly 5 million votes in this year’s election and reported record absentee voter turnout and record-shattering early voting.
Raffensperger said that amid those record-highs he remained committed to his promise when he took office to conduct the state’s elections with integrity, ensuring voters confidence in the process and its outcome even as high-profile Republicans pressured him to find ways to subtract votes.
Trump’s most recent tantrum sprang from a hand recount of the state’s vote which on Monday revealed results consistent with the original tally — that President Trump lost to President-elect Joe Biden in Georgia. Biden led the state by 12,670 votes, according to that count.
Although President Trump has sought to overturn the will of the people in several battleground states since he lost, Raffensperger said that elections should be administered fairly and impartially, saying, “that’s not partisan. That’s just American.”
Raffensperger disavowed what he called “an onslaught of fake news and unrepentant disinformation” which he said threatened the underpinnings of American democracy.
The GOP official suggested that the losing presidential campaign “refused to accept the facts” and angered by the election’s initial outcome had been opportunistic in forcing the full hand recount. A second recount is now underway by Trump’s request.
“Those who had so long been beneficiaries of the electoral process sought to tear it apart at its very foundations,” Raffensperger wrote, cautioning that the integrity of leaders tasked with carrying out the rules of democracy is critical to preserving its integrity.