Trump Urges Officials to Recount Georgia Vote Totals


On January 2nd, 2021, just 18 days before Inauguration Day, President Donald Trump had an hour-long conversation with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, urging him and other officials to recalculate the total number of votes in Georgia. He insisted that the number of votes he received in Georgia actually exceeded the 11,779 votes that were certified. However, his inflammatory statements were quickly refuted by Raffensperger, along with several attorneys representing the president that were also in the call.
He began his argument by stating by addressing the size of his rallies compared to those of Biden’s, a comment that seems to suggest that attendance at the rallies would equate to the number of votes Trump would receive. He later added, “We have at least two or three – anywhere between 250-300,000 ballots were dropped mysteriously into the rolls. Much of that had to do with Fulton County…you’ll find at least a couple of hundred thousand of forged signatures of people who have been forged [sic].” Trump’s statement here is in keeping with his belief that the 2020 election was fraudulent, but this claim remains unsubstantiated. He also claims that many of the uncounted votes come from deceased individuals, which Raffensperger quickly disputed, explaining that only two deceased individuals were counted in the vote totals.
Later in the call, Trump seemed to fixate on issues concerning the Dominion machines, which were used to count votes for the candidates, He stated, “… this just came up this morning that they are burning their ballots, that they are shredding, shredding ballots and removing equipment. They’re changing the equipment on the dominion machines.” This claim has been pushed by Sidney Powell, an ex-Trump lawyer who has continually made conspiratorial claims about the election. Raffensperger responded to Trump’s claims of an improperly counted amount of votes, explaining that a hand retally of the results had the same results as the machines. Ryan Germany, an attorney serving as general counsel for the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, responded to Trump’s claims of shredded ballots, explaining that the shredded ballots were actually from old elections. Trump cited “Trump media” as his source for this information.
President Trump also placed a significant amount of blame on an individual that he believes put in a number of fake ballots that influenced the result of the election. The individual’s name is censored in the audio recording of the call, but Trump calls her “a known political operative and balloteer.”According to Trump, the individual’s actions resulted in 56,000 votes going to Biden. In a declaration by Georgia’s chief election investigator, Frances Watson, it was stated that, “…there were no mystery ballots that were brought in from an unknown location and hidden under tables as has been reported by some.”
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was called on to pursue a criminal investigation of the call, but he refused, citing a “conflict of interest,” as he was involved in the phone call with Trump. As a result of this call, Trump has voiced his intention to run against Raffensperger and Georgia governor Brian Kemp during the next election. “…I’m going to be here in a year and a half and I’m going to be campaigning against your governor and your crazy secretary of state.” said Trump, during a rally held on the eve of the Georgia senate runoff elections. It remains to be seen whether or not he will uphold this promise.