Georgia’s two senators issued a joint statement Monday demanding fellow Republican Brad Raffensperger resign as the state suffers through another embarrassing vote count.
“There have been too many failures in Georgia elections this year and the most recent election has shined a national light on the problems,” said Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. “While blame certainly lies elsewhere as well, the buck ultimately stops with the secretary of state. The mismanagement and lack of transparency from the secretary of state is unacceptable.”
Both senators are set for runoff elections Jan. 5.
In their statement they didn’t say which specific failures they were referring to in their call for a resignation, but seemed intent on preventing a repeat of this year’s bungles during the runoff.
Their statement came minutes after Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger held a press conference attempting to explain the bungles and shoot down conspiracy theories, as Georgia continues to count and post results.
Mr. Raffensperger said there was “evidence of illegal votes” being cast, but he rejected broader claims of voter “fraud.”
He blamed some vote-tally release bungles on the way software scans pages, and others on local officials who didn’t properly reconcile their own vote totals.
“Guess what? Mistakes will be made. That’s going to happen. You have to be realistic about that,” he said. “And yes, there’s a highlight on us now because of just the sheer tightness of our race.”
The two GOP senators, though, called the management of the elections “an embarrassment for our state.”
Two years ago Georgia also suffered through another agonizing vote count, with Democrat Stacey Abrams refusing to concede the governor’s race amid claims of irregularities.
She did, however, acknowledge 10 days after the election that she would not be able to legally claim victory.
This year, while both Senate races are now projected to be heading to runoffs, the winner of the state in the presidential vote is not year clear.
Democrat Joseph R. Biden holds a lead of more than 11,000 votes.
In the Senate race, Ms. Loeffler and Mr. Perdue are running as a package.
Ms. Loeffler’s race is a special election to fill out the rest of the term of former Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Republican, who resigned in 2019. She will face Ralph Warnock, a Democrat, who led a crowded field in last week’s voting.
Mr. Perdue’s race was a normal six-year election. He fell just shy last week of the 50% vote threshold needed to avoid a runoff against Democrat Jon Ossoff.