Former President Donald Trump on Saturday revved up his allegations of voter fraud in front of an enthusiastic crowd at a “Save America” rally in Georgia, where he insisted the 2020 vote was rigged against him.
He attacked Georgia Secretary of State Brian Raffensperger, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and Gov. Brian Kemp, all Republicans, who dismissed Mr. Trump’s unproven claims.
“They ignored monumental evidence of rampant fraud,” Mr. Trump said, alleging scores of duplicate and missing ballots in Georgia, where he was the first Republican presidential candidate to lose the state in three decades.
He also blamed Silicon Valley for interfering in the election to boost Democrats, and he claimed that “at least 7% of the dropbox vote was illegally trafficked.”
“I bring voter fraud to the forefront to save our nation from corrupt elections and to make sure this never, ever happens again,” Mr. Trump said.
His focus on ballot fraud confirmed the issue will persist into the 2022 elections, with pressure on Republicans to back Mr. Trump’s allegations.
Georgia is considered a critical battleground for 2022 and could determine whether Republicans can regain control of the Senate.
The former president used his keynote speech at the rally in Perry, Georgia, to promote his favored candidates, including football legend Herschel Walker who is running for U.S. Senate in the state.
Mr. Trump’s appearance comes a day after the long-awaited results of an election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, were unveiled, affirming his loss to President Biden.
Mr. Trump, however, asserted that the results proved voter fraud took place, citing the audit’s allegations that there were inconsistencies related to mail-in balloting and potential duplicate ballots.
“We won on the Arizona forensic audit yesterday at a level that you wouldn’t believe,” Mr. Trump.
Reading off the results of the audit, Mr. Trump cited findings of more than 20,000 ballots that allegedly were cast by people who no longer lived in the state. “You have more than 10,000 votes that I ‘lost’ by,” he said.
The candidates Mr. Trump promoted included U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, who is running for secretary of state, and state Sen. Burt Jones, who is vying for lieutenant governor.
Mr. Walker, Ms. Hice and Mr. Jones have echoed Mr. Trump‘s claims of voter fraud.
Mr. Hice, a four-term House Republican who spoke ahead of Mr. Trump, accused Mr. Raffensperger of diminishing peoples’ confidence in the state’s elections.
“It is my deep conviction that Brad Raffensperger has massively compromised the right of the people at the ballot box,” Mr. Hice said.“He has opened wide the door for all sorts of irregularities and fraud to march into our election system and it is time that we take charge of this.”
Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who also appeared at the rally, called for her state to conduct its own audit into the 2020 election.
“Trump won Georgia, and that’s why I’m calling for an audit in Georgia. It’s time to do it. No more excuses,” Mrs. Greene said.
Mr. Trump has long asserted he was the true victor of the 2020 election, despite a lack of evidence that match his claims.
Mr. Raffensperger has not backed down on refuting Mr. Trump’s claims, telling The Washington Examiner on Friday he believed the former president “knows in his heart” he lost.
Mr. Raffensperger defended the integrity of Georgia’s elections, noting the state conducted several recounts, audits, and investigations that still came up short of Mr. Trump’s claims.
“Every time we’ve looked into all of these and all of these concerns, it’s clear that Donald Trump lost the election fair and square,” Mr. Raffensperger said.
Mr. Duncan, who is not up for reelection next year, wrote in a newly released book that he would not give credit to Mr. Trump’s “lies.”
“I won’t believe his lies,” Mr. Duncan said. “I won’t disingenuously pander to voters he’s misinformed. And I certainly won’t mislead my constituents because he wants me to.”
Mr. Trump urged voters to turn out next year to save the country from “lunatics” in Washington, while also promising a GOP victory in 2024.
While he has hinted at a potential run in the next presidential election, Mr. Trump has not formally announced whether he will run again.