Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue of Georgia called on the state’s GOP secretary of state to resign on Monday, citing “failures” in the election process but not providing any specific evidence to support their claims.
“There have been too many failures in Georgia elections this year and the most recent election has shined a national light on the problems,” Loeffler and Perdue said in a joint statement. “The Secretary of State has failed to deliver honest and transparent elections. He has failed the people of Georgia, and he should step down immediately.”
The Georgia Republicans will both face runoff elections on Jan. 5. Loeffler, who beat back an intra-party challenge from Rep. Doug Collins, will go up against Rev. Raphael Warnock, while Perdue will go up against Jon Ossoff.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger responded in a statement Monday saying he would not resign, and defended his office’s handling of the election. He said the election was a “resounding success” from an administration perspective. He highlighted his office’s briefings and updates to argue that they had conducted the process with transparency.
“I know emotions are running high. Politics are involved in everything right now,” Raffensperger said. “If I was Senator Perdue, I’d be irritated I was in a runoff. And both Senators and I are all unhappy with the potential outcome for our President. But I am the duly elected Secretary of State. One of my duties involves helping to run elections for all Georgia voters. I have taken that oath, and I will execute that duty and follow Georgia law.”
Raffensperger said the process for reporting results in the state was orderly and followed the law. And he added that while he was “sure” there were illegal votes cast, it was “unlikely” that there total rose to the “numbers or margin necessary to change the outcome” of the election.
He also took a shot at Perdue and Loeffler for their criticism: “As a Republican, I am concerned about Republicans keeping the U.S. Senate. I recommend that Senators Loeffler and Perdue start focusing on that.”
President-elect Joe Biden appears on track to win Georgia, the first time a Democrat has flipped the state blue since 1992. Biden was declared the overall winner on Saturday after securing enough Electoral College votes to beat President Donald Trump.
The twin runoff races will determine which party controls the Senate under a Biden presidency. Democrats need to win both seats to win a 50-50 Senate majority, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the tie-breaker.