Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger calls for bipartisan electoral reform
Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Axios it was time for a bipartisan commission on federal election reform, like the one co-chaired by former Democratic President Jimmy Carter and former secretary of Republican State James Baker in 2005.
Why is this important: Raffensperger last year turned down former President Donald Trump’s request to “find” the votes to overturn Georgian election results and defended the state’s vote count for 2020 to members of his own party.
- “Let them really work on it, do a lot of public policy debate, take a year or two but get it right. I think it’s been 16 years now since the last report. We’re probably ready for another,” did he declare. Axios.
Inventory: Georgia’s top electoral official found himself in a sort of political no-man’s land.
- He lost the support of many in his own party and Trump backed one of his main opponents, Representative Jody Hice. At one point, he was more popular with Democrats than Republicans.
- Hice is one of Georgia’s foremost politicians perpetuating the story of Trump’s “stolen elections”.
To note: Raffensperger’s call for a bipartisan committee comes after he criticized HR 4, a federal Democratic vote reform proposal, as full of “liberal wishlist” items.
- “Instead of writing an omnibus vote bill, why don’t they just focus on what we agree to? Then we could go ahead and work on something like that,” he said. he declared.
- Yes, but: Raffensperger vocally supported Georgia’s SB 202, the Republican-led electoral law that is one of the state measures that has spurred Democrats’ efforts to intervene at the federal level.
In case the politics are not confusing enough, SB 202 also replaced Raffensperger on the state electoral council with a person appointed by the General Assembly – all as an apparent retribution within the party after 2020.
- He called it “a short-sighted thought that could end up really hurting Georgians”.
- “Before, there was direct responsibility. [voters] didn’t like the decisions made by the State Electoral Council, so they could hold me accountable. Now, who do they hold responsible? 180 state representatives and 56 state senators. It’s so diffuse that everyone is pointing fingers. There is no responsibility, ”he added.
Its result: Raffensperger said that even if the warring GOP factions manage to unite ahead of next year’s midterm elections, the party is “not 50%” in Georgia.
- “We really need to watch not only play nice in the sandbox with our own people, but how do we make our sandbox bigger and get more people to come join us?”
- “And the way to do it is to send a positive, uplifting, ambitious message that gives people real hope. Not that manipulative hope that so many politicians want to peddle.”
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