Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said while he is a supporter of Repulican President Donald Trump, the votes cast by Georgians showed Democrat Joe Biden won the state and that the system worked correctly. Still, Raffensperger said reforms are need to Georgia's electoral system.

"Working as an engineer throughout my life, I lived by the motto that numbers don’t lie. As Secretary of State, I believe the numbers we have presented today are correct. The numbers reflect the verdict of the people, not a decision of the Secretary of State’s office, or of courts, or of either campaign," Raffensperger said. "I want to do everything I can to build voters' trust in our electoral system. To that end, I want to work with the governor and legislature on legislation that improves that system."

The Secretary of State then laid out his plans for how he wants to improve the system.

"First, I want to see legislation that allows for the state to intervene in counties that have systemic, ongoing problems conducting elections. We need to have a remedy that allows the state to address problem areas and get those counties moving in the right direction. The audit revealed that in some of the counties, not all of the votes were counted. That doesn’t mean those counties had systemic problems. But it does raise a concern," Raffensperger said. "We must implement a reconciliation process that prevents such errors from happening in the future."

Raffensperger continued, "Second, we need some reforms on our absentee ballot laws. The state performed admirably in rapidly transitioning our election system from one where a small percentage of the electorate voted by mail to one where a vast percentage voted by mail. Other states that have moved to vote by mail system did it over a period of years, we did it in months. But such a large number of mail-in ballots has raised the question of election integrity. I will work with legislators to find a solution that allows us to use the same security measures for votes by mail as we have for in person voting. That would include a photo ID requirement. We know this works. We know this stops fraud. We know that claims that it would suppress votes have been proven wrong with empirical evidence and empirical studies. This move would have the added benefit of removing the controversial signature verification system that we use now. Democrats have long complained about it, now Republicans are raising concerns too. We can move from a subjective system to an objective system and I think we should get that done next year."

"Third, because federal laws allow us to update our voter rolls as often as we need to, we need to have stricter controls that allow for challenges to voters suspected of not living where they are registered to vote. A simple tightening of the law would give teeth to these challenges and prevent people from voting illegally. These measures will improve the security of our elections and that should lead to greater public trust. Our first goal is carrying out elections successfully and getting results right. Our second goal is upholding people’s faith in our democracy by demonstrating the integrity of our process."

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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