In a USA Today op-ed published Wednesday, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, claimed he was “thrown under the bus” by President Donald Trump when he wouldn’t help to declare Republicans the winners of elections they lost in the state.
In the article, Raffensperger commends the state of Georgia for conducting a “wildly successful and smooth election,” and he said that feat is worthy of celebration even among people whose preferred presidential candidate lost.
“For those wondering, mine lost,” Raffensperger said, referencing Trump. “My family voted for him, donated to him and are now being thrown under the bus by him.”
Last week, Raffensperger alleged Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and other members of his party urged him to unlawfully disqualify ballots cast in Georgia, a state President-elect Joe Biden won by thousands of votes. Following Trump’s lead, Graham, Georgia Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, and other conservatives throughout the country have pushed absurd conspiracy theories about voting irregularities in the state, including a theory alleging Georgia’s voting machines were engineered to disenfranchise Trump voters. Since election day, Raffensperger has become a pariah among conservatives for his refusal to hand Republicans victories in races they lost.
On Nov. 10, after the ballot count found Biden defeating Trump by more than 10,000 votes in Georgia, the Trump campaign requested and were later afforded a recount. But Trump and his allies never stopped lobbing unfounded accusations of impropriety at Georgia election officials, conjuring vitriol among his supporters even as the recount he requested was underway.
In a Nov. 14 tweet that has since been flagged as disinformation, Trump baselessly claimed Raffensperger, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, and Democrat and former gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams were allies in a scheme to “cheat” this election cycle.
“Even as Georgia embarked on its first statewide audit, a process that was only possible because of the state’s new printed paper-ballot system, those who requested the full hand recount triggered by the audit of such a close race lined up to undermine its credibility,” Raffensperger wrote in his op-ed Wednesday. “Those who had so long been beneficiaries of the electoral process sought to tear it apart at its very foundations.”
“But still, integrity matters,” he added.
On Friday, Kemp and Raffensperger certified Georgia’s election results after a recount confirmed Biden won the state by 12,670 votes. On Saturday, the Trump campaign requested another recount, yet there is no reason to believe the additional recount will alter the outcome.