Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been pressuring him to find ways to toss legally cast ballots in recent days, according to the Washington Post.
Raffensperger, a Republican, told the Post that Graham asked if political bias could have compelled election workers to accept ballots with mismatched signatures, and inquired whether entire batches of legal ballots could be tossed from counties with high levels of signature mismatch.
Raffensperger told the Post he was “stunned” by the inquiries.
On Monday night, after the Post report came out, Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill that he was “surprised” to hear how Raffensperger characterized the conversation, calling his conclusion that Graham was trying to get ballots tossed “ridiculous.”
“I was trying to find out how the signature stuff worked,” Graham said. “It was good, he did a good job explaining to me how to verify signatures.”
The same day Graham spoke to Raffensperger, Trump supporter and Atlanta lawyer Lin Wood filed a lawsuit challenging how signatures are checked. Raffensperger vowed to fight the lawsuit, saying that it could potentially reveal how people voted.
Raffensperger has become an unlikely hero to some in the state, with his no-nonsense pushback to the election fraud lies promulgated by Graham and other allies of President Donald Trump. Among that number are the two Georgia senators, both of whom have called for Raffensperger’s resignation.
“Our secretary of state is a Republican, but he’s doing great job holding his own,” Sheila Levy, secretary of Dekalb County Democrats, told TPM. “He’s attempting to set people straight.”
On Sunday night, Raffensperger went on a Facebook debunking spree, fact-checking Trump’s tweets about mail-in voting and ballot counting monitors.
He also touted his own efforts to make voting harder by imposing strict signature matching requirements, among other measures.
Georgia is currently conducting an audit, re-canvass and hand recount “all at once,” as Raffensperger put it, after President-Elect Joe Biden finished just over 14,000 votes ahead of Trump in the state.