Officials in the state say they will not help the president with a ploy to overturn Joe Biden’s victory.
Georgia’s governor will not acquiesce to pressure from President Donald Trump to call a special session of the state’s legislature in an attempt to overturn the state’s election results, his deputy said.
Lieutenant Governor of Georgia Geoff Duncan told CNN on Sunday he and his boss, Governor Brian Kemp, are “certainly not going to move the goalposts at this point in the election”.
The statement comes after Trump reportedly called Kemp, a Republican, on Saturday and asked for his help in overturning the election results by calling a special session of the state legislature so the Republican-controlled body could appoint electors who would override the state results.
Trump has increasingly attempted that long-shot ploy as his legal challenges and recounts have failed. On Saturday, he derided Kemp and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, also a Republican, for standing by their state election results.
A hand recount of all ballots cast in Georgia affirmed Biden’s victory in the state, which was certified on November 20. A subsequent recount, requested by Trump at the expense of state taxpayers, has also shown Biden maintaining his lead.
“I voted for President Trump, I campaigned for him and unfortunately he did not win the state of Georgia,” Duncan said. “So, yeah, you know, on January 20, Joe Biden is going to be sworn in as the 46th president. The Constitution is still in place. This is still America.”
‘Anger and fear’
With Trump continuing to allege widespread fraud, without evidence, and many national elected officials from the Republican party either tacitly or explicitly supporting his attempts to overturn the results, local election officials have largely been left to defend the integrity of voting in their states.
Gabriel Sterling, a votings systems implementation manager in Georgia, on Sunday criticised Trump’s appearance at a rally in support of two Republican candidates in a runoff Senate race in the state that will decide which party controls the chamber.
In an interview with NBC, the election official dismissed Trump’s litany of claims as “false” and “stoking anger and fear among his supporters”.
“And hell I voted for him,” Sterling added. “The situation is getting much worse.”
In his interview on Sunday, Lieutenant Governor Duncan also joined a chorus of Republicans who have warned that Trump’s attempts to undermine the election results in Georgia could backfire when it comes to the Senate race and discourage voters from the party from going to the polls.
“I worry that this continuous you know fanning of the flames around misinformation puts us in a negative position with regards to the January 5 runoff,” Duncan said. “The mountains of misinformation are not helping the process, they’re only hurting it.”