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Georgia's Brad Raffensperger: National GOP Figures Didn't Understand Our Laws

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference Wednesday in Atlanta.
Brynn Anderson
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference Wednesday in Atlanta.

Updated at 4:05 p.m. ET

Georgia's secretary of state said Tuesday that some fellow Republicans have tried to pressure him into disqualifying legal ballots that may not have favored President Trump.

Brad Raffensperger, who was earlier endorsed by Trump, said in an interview with NPR's All Things Consideredthat he had been contacted by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham's office in an effort to convince him to discard some legal absentee ballots.

"Sen. Graham implied for us to go ahead and audit the envelopes — the signature on the envelopes — and then throw out the ballots from counties that had the highest frequency of error rates on signatures," Raffensperger said.

"I went ahead and I explained our laws. It's pretty clear what Sen. Graham, President Trump and attorney Lin Wood — they're all on the same page, and they don't understand the laws of Georgia."

Raffensperger said he's been resisting those kinds of calls from critics both at home and around the country even as the Peach State continues a statewide hand recount.

President-elect Joe Biden narrowly clinched a win in Georgia, a state that had not voted blue in a presidential race in more than two decades. Trump and Republicans have made a number of unfounded allegations about purported impropriety in the election — which Raffensperger has rejected.

The secretary of state said he has tried to help outsiders understand Georgia law and leveled some harsher responses toward those inside the state he says should know better, including Rep. Doug Collins, a Trump ally who ran an unsuccessful Senate race this year.

"Failed candidate Doug Collins is a liar— but what's new?" Raffensperger wrote in a Facebook post.

The secretary of state also said in another interview on Tuesday that Trump may have himself to blame for his loss in Georgia following his months of mostly unfounded criticism of mail ballots.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alana Wise joined WAMU in September 2018 as the 2018-2020 Audion Reporting Fellow for . Selected as one of 10 recipients nationwide of the Audion Reporting Fellowship, Alana works in the WAMU newsroom as part of a national reporting project and is spending two years focusing on the impact of guns in the Washington region.
Alana Wise
Alana Wise is a politics reporter on the Washington desk at NPR.