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Georgia secretary of state says Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested he “throw away” ballots

The state is currently conducting a recount after President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Lindsey Graham AP

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger alleged on Monday (Nov. 16) that Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested he “throw away” ballots. The state is currently recounting their votes after President-Elect Joe Biden won by a thin margin.

According to CNN, Raffensperger said Graham “asked if the ballots could be matched back to the voters.”

“... I got the sense [Graham] implied that then you could throw those out... if you look at the counties with the highest frequent error of signatures,” he added. “So, that’s the impression that I got. It was just an implication of, ‘Look hard and see how many ballots you could throw out.’”

That same day, Raffensperger also told The Washington Post that Graham suggested biased poll workers may have counted ballots with inconsistent signatures and asked that all mail-in ballots from counties with signature matching issues be discarded.

Graham, in turn, has denied the Republican secretary of state’s claims, calling them “ridiculous.”

“What I’m trying to find out was how do you verify signatures on mail-in ballots in these states that are the center of attention?” he said to CNN. “So, like, when you mail in a ballot, you got to have some way to verify that the signature on the envelope actually matches the person who requested the ballot.”

“It seems to me that Georgia has some protections that maybe other states don’t have, where you go into the portal to get your ballot,” he continued. “But I thought it was a good conversation. I’m surprised to hear him verify it that way.”

According to Raffensperger, Georgia’s election system already requires signature matches from voters who vote by mail. He also said their online absentee system uses a photo ID.

“We feel confident the election officials did their job,” he said.

So far, at least six Georgia counties have finished their recounts without finding any inconsistencies. State law requires that Raffensperger certify the official election results by Friday (Nov. 20).

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