We spend a lot of energy on this blog blasting Republican officials for cowardice, for lack of character, for putting party over country. It is only fair, then, to acknowledge the occasional Republican who actually cares about his responsibilities,
Ben Raffensperger, a Republican, is the Secretary of State for Georgia. His predecessor, Brian Kemp, is now governor of Georgia largely because he used his position as the chief elections official to suppress likely Democratic votes. Republicans evidently expected Kemp’s successor to emulate him.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Monday that he has come under increasing pressure in recent days from fellow Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), to question the validity of legally cast absentee ballots in an effort to reverse President Trump’s narrow loss in the state.
Raffensperger said he was stunned that Graham appeared to suggest that he find a way to toss legally cast ballots. Absent court intervention, Raffensperger doesn’t have the power to do what Graham suggested, as counties administer elections in Georgia.
Well, a Trumpie is bringing a lawsuit, which will be as successful as all the other lawsuits (not):
On the same day that Graham asked Raffensperger about throwing out mail ballots in counties with high rates of signature problems, a lawsuit was filed in federal court in Georgia challenging the way county election officials check signatures and allow voters a chance to fix ballots with errors.
but Raffspenger isn’t having any of it:
Raffensperger said he will vigorously fight the lawsuit, which would require the matching of ballot envelopes with ballots — potentially exposing individual voters’ electoral choices.“It doesn’t matter what political party or which campaign does that,” Raffensperger said. “The secrecy of the vote is sacred.”
(The lawsuit was filed by Lin Wood, sometimes called the “attorney for the damned.”)
The pressure is getting serious:
The atmosphere has grown so contentious, Raffensperger said, that both he and his wife, Tricia, have received death threats in recent days, including a text to him that read, “You better not botch this recount. Your life depends on it.”
Raffensperger has been under pressure since the election: His fellow Republicans turned on him, but Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger isn’t backing down:
Georgia's two U.S. senators demanded that he resign, declaring that Brad Raffensperger, their fellow Republican, had “failed to deliver honest and transparent elections.” Trump tweeted a barrage of unfounded accusations that the state's election was a sham. And the president tapped one of the state's GOP congressmen to lead his effort to find evidence of fraud, though no such evidence has surfaced.
His response then was something that in an earlier (much earlier) era would have been so obvious as to not need to be said:
“People are just going to have to accept the results,” he told The Washington Post in an interview Wednesday [Nov 11]. “I'm a Republican. I believe in fair and secure elections.”
With so many Republicans from Trump on up trashing democracy and trampling on long-cherished values, it is refreshing to see one Republican committed to fair elections and the rule of law. If we are ever going to have a proper opposition party with whom we can have a reasoned debate, we need more people like Raffensperger.