As part of his ongoing effort to interfere with the now-certified presidential election results, President Trump spent his Saturday morning haranguing Georgia governor Brian Kemp about President-elect Biden’s victory in the peach state.
According to a new report in The Washington Post, the president called Gov. Kemp to urge him to pursue an audit of absentee ballot signatures and convince the state legislature to overturn Biden’s victory. Specifically, he wanted Kemp to call a special session and encourage state legislators to select their own electors that would support Trump.
Kemp denied Trump’s requests but only because they are belligerent. As governor, there is little Kemp can do to alter voting laws and policy in Georgia. That power belongs to the Secretary of State (a position Kemp held before becoming governor in a controversial election against Stacey Abrams). “Georgia law prohibits the governor from interfering in elections,” said a Kemp spokesman in response to Trump’s public demands a few days ago. “The Secretary of State, who is an elected constitutional officer, has oversight over elections that cannot be overridden by executive order.”
And what little Kemp can do, he has already done. In a testy retweet, Gov. Kemp reminded President Trump that he has repeatedly called on the current Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, to conduct an audit of absentee ballot signatures. Kemp’s calls came after Trump and his allies falsely claimed without evidence that election officials in Georgia accepted ballots where the envelope signatures did not match the ones on file.
As I told the President this morning, I’ve publicly called for a signature audit three times (11/20, 11/24, 12/3) to restore confidence in our election process and to ensure that only legal votes are counted in Georgia. #gapol https://t.co/xdXrhf1vI2
— Brian Kemp (@BrianKempGA) December 5, 2020
Despite the falsity of the president's claims, the Georgia legislature seems to be heeding Trump' and Kemp’s call. Earlier today, House Majority Leader Jon Burns announced in a press release that he had, “submitted a letter to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the State Election Board suggesting improvements to the absentee ballot application and envelope signature verification process in Georgia.”
The letter, which was evidently signed by more than 100 current and newly-elected House members, also suggests Raffensperger acquire additional staff to provide oversight and support for Georgia’s upcoming special election on January 5, 2021. That election will determine Georgia’s two senators, and with them, the makeup of the United States Senate.
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