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Jan. 22, 2022, 6:30 a.m. EST

Republicans in Georgia remain in a turbulent state over outcome of 2020 election

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Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — The storm over how Georgia’s elections are run is far from abating, as Republicans echoing former President Donald Trump’s falsehoods about a stolen 2020 election make new proposals atop last year’s state law that set a benchmark for restrictive GOP voting changes nationwide.

Context (March 2021): Amid outcry, Georgia governor signs bill restricting voting into law

Breaking news: Texas man charged with making death threats against government officials in Georgia after 2020 election

Republican gubernatorial challenger David Perdue on Thursday joined calls for a new state police unit solely to investigate election law violations.

Many proposals, mostly from Republicans seeking office this year, appear unlikely to progress. But they show how upheaval over the 2020 elections keeps driving GOP politics in Georgia and other states.

Seth Masket, a University of Denver political-science professor researching the aftermath of the 2020 elections, said that when it comes to denying the results, “it’s never enough” for Trump or voters who support him.

“He keeps kind of setting the marker for what support for him looks like,” Masket said. “You can really never go far enough down that path to prove it. And it turns out a lot of the Republican electorate just loves it.”

Perdue lost re-election as a Republican U.S. senator to Democrat Jon Ossoff after being forced to a runoff in January 2021. Trump goaded him to enter the governor’s race, targeting Republican Gov. Brian Kemp for not overturning Georgia’s election.

Key Words (October 2020): Georgia debate gets heated as Sen. David Perdue is labeled a ‘crook’ by rival Jon Ossoff

From the archives (December 2021): Stacey Abrams calls for congressional voting-rights action ahead of second race for governor in Georgia

Federal and state election officials and Trump’s own attorney general found no credible evidence the election was tainted. The former president’s allegations of fraud were also rejected by courts, including by judges Trump appointed.

An AP investigation into potential voter fraud in Georgia and five other battleground states where Trump disputed his loss to President Joe Biden found fewer than 500 cases. In Georgia, officials identified 64 potential fraud cases, representing 0.54% of Biden’s margin of victory in the state. Of those, 31 were determined to result from administrative error or some other mistake.

Nonetheless, such allegations are accepted gospel among many Republicans. Days after Perdue entered the governor’s race in December, he sued — claiming fraud in Georgia’s Fulton County cost him and Trump the 2020 election.

Election problems in Georgia are currently handled by the secretary of state’s office, which employs investigators with police powers. The incumbent secretary, Republican Brad Raffensperger, has come under scorn from Trump. Trump called Raffensperger on Jan. 2, 2021, asking Raffensperger to “find” enough votes so Trump can win, sparking a state election tampering investigation that on Thursday resulted in a call for a special grand jury.

From the archives (Jan. 6, 2021): ‘This is how democracy dies’: Pro-Trump mob storms Capitol in bid to overturn election

Also (Dec. 6, 2020): Trump’s tactics to overturn election could have long-lasting effects

Raffensperger was removed from the State Election Board and is being challenged by Republicans who reject the 2020 election results, including Trump-endorsed U.S. Rep Jody Hice.

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