Governor Kemp Formalizes Election Certification, Calls for Signature Audit, Endorses Voter ID for Mail-In Balloting
Atlanta, GA – Today from the Governor's Ceremonial Office at the Georgia State Capitol, Governor Brian P. Kemp delivered the following remarks regarding the results of the 2020 election in Georgia:
"Good afternoon. COVID-19 has introduced numerous challenges to county and state elections officials as they work to keep Georgia elections secure, accessible, and fair. Given the record number of absentee ballots and narrow margin in the November 3rd election for president in Georgia, I joined many in backing a hand recount and urging a thorough investigation into any voting irregularities. The Secretary of State oversaw a complete audit which revealed significant errors made in several counties, including: Floyd, Fayette, Douglas, and Walton.
"It is important for Georgians to know that the vast majority of local election workers did their job well under unprecedented circumstances, and I thank them for their service. However, it’s quite honestly hard to believe that during the audit, thousands of uncounted ballots were found weeks after a razor-thin outcome in a presidential election. This is simply unacceptable. I have heard directly from countless Georgians. They expect better, and they deserve better.
"It’s important to note that this audit only looked at ballots, not the signatures on the absentee applications or the signatures on the ballot envelopes. The Georgians I have heard from are extremely concerned about this, so I encourage Secretary Raffensperger to consider addressing these concerns. It seems simple enough to conduct a sample audit of signatures on the absentee ballot envelopes and compare those to the signatures on applications and on file at the Secretary of State’s Office.
"This morning, the Secretary announced his support of strengthened photo ID requirements for absentee balloting. Voters casting their ballots in person must show photo ID, and we should consider applying that same standard to mail-in balloting. I have heard from many members of the General Assembly, and I appreciate their input and share their concerns. I look forward to working with Lt. Governor Duncan, Speaker Ralston, and members of both bodies to address the issues that have been raised over the last few weeks.
"Earlier today, Secretary Raffensperger presented the certified results of the 2020 general election to my office. Following Judge Grimberg’s ruling yesterday, state law now requires the Governor’s Office to formalize the certification, which paves the way for the Trump campaign to pursue other legal options and a separate recount if they choose. Georgia has runoff elections for two U.S. Senate seats and a Public Service Commissioner scheduled to occur over the next several weeks. We demand complete explanations for all the discrepancies identified so that our citizens will have complete confidence in our elections. In the runoff election, we cannot have lost memory cards or stacks of uncounted ballots. We must have full transparency in all monitoring and counting. Every legal vote must be counted, and the security of the ballot box must be protected.
"As Governor, I have the solemn responsibility to follow the law, and that is what I will continue to do. We must all work together to ensure citizens have confidence in future elections in our state. Thank you, God bless you, and may God continue to bless the Great State of Georgia."