Brad Raffensperger, Georgia Secretary of State claimed he has come under strong pressure from fellow Republicans, including chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsey Graham, to reverse Donald Trump's loss in the state. In an interview with The Washington Post, Raffensperger alleged Graham, who shares president Trump's view that there were widespread voter irregularities during the presidential election, asked him about Georgia's signature-matching law and whether he has the authority to throw out all mail-in ballots in counties with higher rates of nonmatching signatures.
The Georgia Secretary of State said he was shocked when Graham appeared to ask him to get rid of legally cast mail-in ballots.
"It sure looked like he was wanting to go down that road", Raffensperger said.
Speaking with reporters on Capitoll Hill Lindsey Graham confirmed that he spoke with Brad Raffensperger, but dismissed the allegation that he somehow pressured the state official to influence the results of the election by throwing out legally cast absentee ballots, calling the claim "ridiculous".
"What I'm trying to find out was, how do you verify signatures on mail-in ballots in these states that are just the centre of attention", Graham said, adding that he thought he had a "good conversation" with Raffensperger. "I'm surprised to hear he characterised it that way. If he feels threatened by that conversation, he's got a problem".
Raffensperger said he and his wife received death threats following the decision to recount ballots in Georgia. The official said he received aggressive text messages. One of them allegedly read: "You better not botch this recount. Your life depends on it".
The Georgia official dismissed claims by Donald Trump and other Republicans that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia that helped Democrat Joe Biden to win the election. Raffensperger noted that every claim of voter fraud would be thoroughly investigated, but said that so far there has been no evidence to suggest that something of that kind occurred.
He emphasised that the hand recount would show the same results as Dominion voting machines, which president Trump and other Republicans claimed manipulated the results in favour of Democrat Joe Biden.
However, officials in Floyd County later discovered 2,600 uncounted ballots, most for Trump that were not included in the initial tallies because of a failure to upload them from a memory stick. Raffensperger's office said those votes would probably have been discovered, but called for the resignation of the county's elections director.
Officials in Georgia have until 20 November to count almost 5 million ballots.