Georgia Elections Chief Says Sen. Lindsey Graham Asked About Rejecting More Absentee Ballots

November 17, 2020by Mark Niesse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (TNS)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) questions Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett during the Senate Judiciary Committee on the second day of Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill on Oct. 13, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Demetrius Freeman/Pool/Getty Images/TNS)

ATLANTA — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham asked him if he had the power to reject more absentee ballots as election officials are conducting a recount and audit of the presidential race.

Raffensperger, in an interview with The Washington Post on Monday, said the South Carolina senator was the latest Republican to question whether he could disqualify more absentee ballots based on mismatched signatures.

Raffensperger, who is also a Republican, said Graham appeared to be suggesting that he find a way to reject legally cast ballots to help President Donald Trump’s reelection chances.

“It sure looked like he was wanting to go down that road,” Raffensperger told the Post.

The secretary of state’s office confirmed the accuracy of Raffensperger’s comments.

Graham denied encouraging Raffensperger to reject legal votes and said he was merely asking how Georgia’s signature matching process worked. He said he wasn’t asked to do so by Trump.

Unofficial results showed Joe Biden had a 14,000-vote lead over Trump in Georgia.

Trump has written on Twitter that Georgia officials should review voter signatures on absentee ballots during the state’s recount, though that’s not part of the recount process. A Trump supporter filed a lawsuit against Raffensperger on Friday over signature matching, asking a judge to stop him from certifying the election.

Voter signatures are checked by comparing them to the signatures that voters used when they registered. But that validation occurs when absentee ballots are first returned to county election offices, not during recounts, when ballots have already been separated from absentee envelopes to protect voter secrecy.

Election workers in Georgia have rejected nearly 2,000 absentee ballots because of invalid or missing signatures this election, according to state data.

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(c)2020 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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