Republican leaders in Georgia delivered different responses Friday to President Donald Trump’s claims of voting irregularities and attacks on the state’s election integrity as his lead in the Peach State slipped away to Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
Charged by the president with overseeing “an election apparatus run by Democrats,” Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and Georgia House Speaker David Ralston – all Republicans – called for investigations into any voter-fraud allegations.
They did not outline any specific allegations in a brief joint statement Friday and avoided directly addressing Trump’s attacks on Georgia’s election system while also throwing support to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican elections chief.
“We trust that our secretary of state will ensure that the law is followed as written and that Georgia’s election result includes all legally-cast ballots – and only legally-cast ballots,” the statement read. “We will continue to follow this situation to ensure a fair and transparent process.”
Meanwhile, backed by a Trump-painted bus in a Buckhead parking lot, the Georgia Republican Party convened supporters to hear impassioned and conspiracy-tinged speeches by several GOP leaders, including Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
McDaniel said her organization plans to send legal teams into four states with tight races including Georgia to investigate alleged voting irregularities, but she and other speakers divulged few specifics. She mentioned one issue involving an unnamed “whistleblower” who allegedly was “told to back-date ballots” in Michigan.
McDaniel declined to describe more specific allegations when pressed by reporters, saying lawyers advised her to keep mum for now.
“We are not going to jump the gun, but they are serious,” McDaniel said of the unspecified allegations.
McDaniel was joined at the podium by former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, Trump’s agriculture secretary; outgoing state Rep. Vernon Jones; and attorney Lin Wood, who intentionally mispronounced Democratic vice presidential nominee Kalama Harris’ name as “Cabala” Harris during his remarks.
Biden, the former vice president, pulled ahead of Trump in Georgia early Friday morning and held a razor-thin advantage of around 4,000 votes late Friday with roughly 14,200 provisional and 8,400 military and overseas ballots left to be counted.
Raffensperger said Friday the presidential race in Georgia will likely require a recount.