Ga. official says Sen. Graham implied he should toss ballots

By Caroline Kelly, Manu Raju and Sarah Fortinsky | CNN

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger stood firm Monday on his account that Sen. Lindsey Graham had hinted that he should try to discard some ballots in Georgia, where a recount is underway after the state went for President-elect Joe Biden in the presidential election.

“He asked if the ballots could be matched back to the voters,” Raffensperger told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room” Monday evening. “And then he, I got the sense it implied that then you could throw those out for any, if you look at the counties with the highest frequent error of signatures. So that’s the impression that I got.”

He later added, “It was just an implication of, ‘Look hard and see how many ballots you could throw out.’”

Raffensperger’s comments come after he told The Washington Post on Monday that Graham had cast doubt on Georgia’s signature-matching law in a conversation on Friday, and had also floated the possibility that biased poll workers could have counted ballots with inconsistent signatures.

Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also inquired if Raffensperger could discard all mail-in ballots from counties that had shown higher rates of unmatched signatures, the Republican secretary of state told the Post on Monday.

There has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, and fraudulently altering a federal election vote tally is a federal crime.

Graham denied Raffensperger’s claim on Monday, telling CNN that he had said he wanted to understand the process for verifying the signatures on mail-in ballots. He said President Donald Trump did not urge him to make the call.

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Asked if he was trying to pressure the secretary of state to toss legal ballots, Graham said, “That’s ridiculous.”

“What I’m trying to find out was how do you verify signatures on mail-in ballots in these states that are the center of attention? So like when you mail in a ballot, you got to have some way to verify that the signature on the envelope actually matches the person who requested the ballot,” Graham said. “It seems to me that Georgia has some protections that maybe other states don’t have, where you go into the portal to get your ballot. But I thought it was a good conversation. I’m surprised to hear him verify it that way.”

Graham added: “So they expanded mail-in voting, and how you verify the signatures to me is the big issue. If you’re going to have mail-in voting, you’ve got to verify that the person who signed the envelope is also the person who requested the ballot.”

On Tuesday, Graham defended his outreach to officials in Arizona, Nevada and Georgia as an attempt to learn about how these states validate signatures on mailed-in ballots, arguing it was part of his effort to determine whether any changes need to be made — even though Trump is projected to lose all three states and has made unsubstantiated claims of mass voting fraud.

“If we’re going to …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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