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Georgia official says Trump rhetoric fueling threats

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Dec 03, 2020 - 06:28 AM

WASHINGTON — A senior Republican official in the US state of Georgia said Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud were fueling threats against poll workers.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was the second state official in as many days to urge Trump to tone down his rhetoric.

Trump has repeatedly alleged there was election fraud in Georgia but has presented no evidence to back up his claim, and a recount confirmed that President-elect Joe Biden won the southern state by some 10,000 votes.

“Even after this office request that President Trump try and quell the violent rhetoric being born out of his continuing claims of winning the states where he obviously lost, he tweeted out: ‘Expose the massive voter fraud in Georgia,'” Raffensperger said.

“This is exactly the kind of language that is at the base of a growing threat environment for election workers who are simply doing their jobs,” he said.

“We will continue to do our jobs, follow the law and follow the process,” he said.

Another Georgia official, voting system manager Gabriel Sterling, also a Republican, called out Trump on Tuesday for his failure to condemn threats to election workers.

“Mr. President, it looks like a likely loss in the state of Georgia,” a visibly angry Sterling said. “You have the right to go through the courts.

“What you don’t have the ability to do — and you need to step up and say this — is stop inspiring people to commit potential violence.

“Someone’s going to get hurt. Someone’s going to get shot. Someone’s going to get killed. It’s not right,” Sterling said.

Trump has still refused to concede the November 3 election and continues to insist it was “rigged.”

Multiple court cases filed by the Trump campaign have been thrown out, however, and Attorney General Bill Barr said Tuesday that no evidence has been produced so far of significant voter fraud.

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” Barr told the Associated Press.

Tensions are high in Georgia ahead of two January 5 runoff elections which could decide control of the US Senate.

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