ATLANTA – Some Republicans renewed their attacks Monday on Democrat Joe Biden's lead over President Donald Trump in Georgia, with U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler taking the extraordinary step of calling for the resignation of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the state's chief elections officer and a fellow member of the GOP.
Republicans laid out a strategy to investigate but still presented no evidence of large-scale voter fraud in the balloting, saying they were still looking into ways to overturn Biden's lead of 11,000 votes.
Georgia is one front in a nationwide scramble by Trump forces to question his loss in multiple states, after The Associated Press and other news organizations declared Biden the victor Saturday when he surpassed the 270 electoral vote threshold with victories in Pennsylvania and Nevada. The AP has not yet called the presidential race for Georgia's 16 electoral votes.
Perdue and Loeffler offered no evidence and gave no specific examples of illegal votes or fraud, and their campaigns did not respond to requests for further comment. Raffensperger flatly declined to step down, saying in a statement, “That is not going to happen.”
The statewide elected Republican said his office is investigating any specific reports of illegal votes, but officials don't expect to find any significant problems.
“Does it rise to the numbers or margin necessary to change the outcome to where President Trump is given Georgia’s electoral votes? That is unlikely," Raffensperger said.
Elected in 2018, Raffensperger has overseen the rollout of Georgia's new voting system, which features touchscreen machines that print paper ballots read by a scanner. After the coronavirus pandemic began, he strongly encouraged voters to vote by mail, despite criticism from other Republicans.
Loeffler and Perdue, who face a pair of Jan. 5 runoffs against Democrats that will determine party control of the U.S. Senate, accused Raffensperger of “mismanagement and lack of transparency.”