Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told CNN Monday that Sen. Lindsay Graham suggested that he “look hard and see how many ballots could be thrown out” to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state.
Raffensperger said he spoke this past Friday with Graham, who asked if the “ballots could be matched back to the voters.” Raffensberger told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the impression he got was that Graham wanted those ballots thrown out. President Trump and Graham, a South Carolina Republican and a staunch ally of the President, have both pushed baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud.
“He asked if the ballots could be matched back to the voters,” Raffensperger told Blitzer, recounting the conversation he had with Graham. “I got the sense it implied that then you could throw those out … So that’s the impression that I got.”
Raffensberger said Georgia’s election systems already require signature matches when voters request a mail ballot and when completed ballots are returned to election systems. He also said the online absentee portal has a photo ID.
“We feel confident the election officials did their job,” he said.
Graham today dismissed the report, first published in the Washington Post, telling reporters it was “ridiculous” and saying he’d had a conversation with Raffensperger about voting machines and signatures but had not asked that votes be discarded.
“What I’m trying to find out was, how do you verify signatures on mail-in ballots in these states,” he said. “So 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.”
“If he feels threatened by that conversation, he’s got a problem,” said Graham. “I actually thought it was a good conversation.”
Raffensperger also told Blitzer that he and his wife have received death threats, mostly on her cell phone, over the past two weeks. The first ones were subtle, he said, and got more graphic and “vulgar” over time. He said it’s “unsettling” for his wife. Trump has attacked Raffensberger on Twitter this past week.
Raffensperger, a Republican, said that he understands how contentious this election was and he will be disappointed because he was “rooting for the Republicans to win.”
“We’re going to follow the process, follow the law. The results will be what they are,” he said. “Integrity in this office matters.”
CNN’s Manu Raju and Sarah Fortinksky contributed to this report.