President Trump amplified accusations that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp used Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan to block an election integrity bill in a Monday morning email to supporters and media.
Trump shared a statement issued by VoterGA, a Georgia-based election integrity group. Its website says it is “a coalition of citizens working to restore election integrity in Georgia. We advocate for independently verifiable, auditable, recount-capable and transparent elections.”
Trump said when he shared the statement, “For the Great State of Georgia voters. Brian Kemp deceived you and let you down. Vote for David Perdue!”
In a statement titled “Kemp, Duncan Block Key Election Integrity Bill to Unseal Ballots,” VoterGA said “A key integrity provision to unseal Georgia election ballots was blocked at the last minute on Sine Die by Gov. Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan. Duncan prevented the Senate from confirming House changes to SB89 which included language to unseal Georgia election ballots and improve ballot chain of custody procedures. SB89 language,” the statement continued, “would have allowed counterfeit ballots to be detected and electronic votes to be verified. Those provisions are essential to deter fraud in upcoming elections.”
VoterGA co-founder Garland Favorito provided details on efforts they made to get the bill passed and conversations they had with Governor Kemp’s office. “Our volunteers were in touch with a variety of Brian Kemp’s policy people throughout the day on sine die. We emphasized how important SB89 is to the voters and the governor’s re-election. We noted that it is a win-win situation for everyone,” he said. “We explained he only needed to call his good friend Geoff Duncan to ensure that SB89 got a vote. It is now clear that Kemp asked Duncan to block this key election integrity bill that would have been passed unanimously by Georgia’s Republican Senators.”
VoterGA also noted the widespread support that the bill in question, SB89, had amongst the legislature. “SB89 had the support of Republican House and Senate majorities including the Speaker of the House and Senate President Pro Tempore, Butch Miller, who carried the bill,” the organization noted. “There is no rational opposition against making ballots public since election officials retain custody of them during copying or inspections and can impose a reasonable charge for time expended under Open Records Request law. The language to unseal originated from a bipartisan HB933 bill and was just a one-minute vote away from passage into law when Duncan blocked it.”
President Trump has endorsed former U.S. Senator David Perdue in the GOP primary against Kemp. The primary is scheduled to take place on May 24.
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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected] Follow Aaron on GETTR, Twitter, and Parler.