Georgia Secretary of State on defending Georgia election reform laws: ‘We have truth on our side’

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After the Biden administration’s Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Georgia’s new election law, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said on Tuesday that the “truth is on their side.”

“We have some great attorneys and we will meet them and beat them in a court of law. We have the truth on our side,” Raffensperger told “The Brian Kilmeade Show.”

The Justice Department on Friday filed a lawsuit against Georgia over the state’s new voting law.

The lawsuit will challenge several of the provisions in Georgia Senate Bill 202, according to the DOJ.

“The right of all eligible citizens to vote is the central pillar of our democracy, the right from which all other rights ultimately flow,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a statement. “This lawsuit is the first step of many we are taking to ensure that all eligible voters can cast a vote; that all lawful votes are counted; and that every voter has access to accurate information.”

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Georgia’s new law requires voter ID for absentee voting rather than relying on signature matching for verification, limiting ballot drop boxes to one per county or one per 100,000 voters, expanded early voting days, and standardized early voting hours to a minimum of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a maximum of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

The law also handed more election authority to the GOP-controlled state legislature. It states that the General Assembly is to select the chair of the state elections board, rather than the board being chaired by the Georgia secretary of state. It also shortens runoffs from nine weeks to four.

Raffensperger said that the “number one issue is there has been so much controversy over signature matches.” 

“It was what was in place. And we’re not moving away from that, which is very subjective to an objective measure. Driver’s license with photo I.D. It’s what they’re using actually in Minnesota right now run by the Democrats, it’s used currently in red states and blue states. It’s nonpartisan, bipartisan. It doesn’t matter what demographic group you’re from, it works.”

Though critics slammed their election reform measure for eliminating drop boxes, Raffensperger pushed back saying that there’s one allowed per every “100,000 people in every county and at least one per county.” 

“And it’ll actually get mandated that every county needs to have drop boxes. Last year during the pandemic, 139 out of 159 counties did do drop boxes. 20 counties chose not to do drop boxes. Now it’ll be a uniform process based on population.”  

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Raffensperger said that “it is offensive for the Department of Justice to claim voter ID will hurt certain demographics.” He also mentioned that polling shows both Republicans and Democrats across all racial groups support voter I.D. because the voters could easily be identified whether they vote, in-person or as an absentee.

“If you look at what we’ve done is going with photo I.D., this is the same argument they used 10 years ago when we did photo ID for in-person voting. They said it would hurt certain demographic groups. It has not,” he said.

Raffensperger said that the people purged from voting rolls “do not live in Georgia” which makes the voting rolls as accurate as possible.

“The Federal laws are some of biggest impediments allowing us to clean up our voter rolls. With The National Voter Registration Act Of 1993, once we are in an election year, we effectively cannot update our voter rolls because we go from a primary election to a primary runoff, which we typically have in Georgia, then go to the fall election and then we also then have runoffs in the fall. And so last time we could do it on the voter rolls in twenty was in February. We just went ahead and update our voter rolls. So federal laws actually hurt us in the state of Georgia from maintaining clean voter lists continue.” 

Raffensberger also noted that he was on the phone with attorneys earlier in the day discussing the case.

“We are going to have a robust defense, we’re going to win on this, and that’s why we’re excited because we can settle these issues. 

He went on to say, “I was elected in 2019. I immediately had about eight cases. Right now we have another eight cases from this law that we just passed. At one point we had a push in about 15 cases. We’ve been beating these cases back from left-wing groups — Stacey Abrams and everyone that’s on her side that are well funded by the civil action groups. And we’re looking forward to finally getting some resolution … We are going to prevail. And that way, I think it really sets the table to actually go forward.”

Fox News’ Audrey Conklin, Michael Balsamo, and Christina A. Cassidy contributed to this report.


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