Archives for category: Georgia

Civil rights groups, led by the Southern Education Foundation, are opposing the voucher legislation proposed by Republicans in Georgia.

SEF leads opposition to education savings account bill introduced in Georgia legislature

One of the first pieces of legislation introduced in the Georgia legislature in 2021 was the Georgia Educational Scholarship Act (HB60), a bill that would divert taxpayer dollars to private schools. In February, SEF and nine other education and equity-focused organizations sent a letter to the Georgia House Committee on Education expressing concerns that HB60 would divert funds from public education at a time when schools can least afford to lose it, and further perpetuate inequities.

SEF prepared analysis of the bill and a backgrounder on academic outcomes and participation requirements for similar tax credit scholarship programs across the country.

SEF’s Legislative and Research Analyst also provided testimony to the Senate Education and Youth Committee on SB47, a proposed expansion of the state’s existing special needs voucher program.

I posted this article last fall. It explains why QAnon Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene ran unopposed for election in Georgia. Her allies literally drove her opponent out of the race and out of the state with death threats. His life was destroyed. This is not the way democracy works. This is the way fascism works.

The post starts like this:

Stephanie McCrummen wrote this story in the Washington Post about what happened when Kevin Van Ausdal ran against a member of QAnon in a Congressional district in Georgia.

There was a time when Kevin Van Ausdal had not yet been called a “loser” and “a disgrace” and hustled out of Georgia. He had not yet punched a wall, or been labeled a “communist,” or a person “who’d probably cry like a baby if you put a gun in his face.” He did not yet know who was going to be the Republican nominee for Congress in his conservative district in northwestern Georgia: the well-known local neurosurgeon, or the woman he knew vaguely as a person who had openly promoted conspiracies including something about a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles.

Anything still seemed possible in the spring of 2020, including the notion that he, Kevin Van Ausdal, a 35-year-old political novice who wanted to “bring civility back to Washington” might have a shot at becoming a U.S. congressman.

So one day in March, he drove his Honda to the gold-domed state capitol in Atlanta, used his IRS refund to pay the $5,220 filing fee and became the only Democrat running for a House seat in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, which Donald Trump won by 27 points in the 2016 presidential election.

He hired a local campaign manager named Vinny Olsziewski, who had handled school board races and a couple of congressionals.

He came up with a slogan — “Save the American Dream” — and posted his first campaign ad, a one-minute slide show of snapshots with voters set to colonial fife-and-drum music.

He gave one of the first public interviews he had ever given in his life, about anything, on a YouTube show called Destiny, and when the host asked, “How do you appeal to these people while still holding onto what you believe in?” Kevin answered, “It’s all about common sense and reaching across the aisle. That’s what politics is supposed to be like.”

Bob Shepherd, our resident polymath, essayist, humorist, and lexicographer, wrote the following rumination on Trump’s visit to Georgia last night. He was supposed to “get out the vote” for the two billionaire Republican Senators, but spent most of his talk complaining about how the Georgia state officials had cheated him, how the election was rigged against him, and airing his usual woe-is-me victim grievances:

Bob Shepherd wrote:

So, this is what I heard listening to Trump’s Toddler Rant last night in Georgia:

The Devil Went Down to Georgia, aka Bad Angels in America, a Screenplay

[“Bohemian Rhapsody,” by Queen, crescendos, then fades over voice of Announcer.]

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States.

JABBA THE TRUMP: Good evening, GEEOR-JUH! So here we are. What’s this place? Dalton? Dalton, Geeorjuh. You gotta be kidding, right? What the heck am I doing here? They said to me, ‘Sir. You have to go to Dalton, Geeorjuh.”

“No way, I said.”

“But, Sir,” they said, “if you don’t go, the Republicans down there, they lose.” Pitiful, am I right? But it’s true. It’s true. Carpets, right? You make carpets here in Dalton, Geeorjuh. So, here I am. And I’m not even on the ticket. Not something I want to do, believe me. But they need me. Republicans, without me, they never win another election.

So, we love the great state of Geeorjuh. I had this guy, Jeff Sessions. Wanted to be Attorney General. He was from Geeorgia or someplace in the South. I know. Hayseeds, right? A long way from New York, I’m telling you. Terrible. Worst Attorney General ever. Worse than Barr, even. Barr couldn’t do the most simple thing I asked him. Send in the military around the country–the Army, the Air Force, the Marines. Trump’s military. Get the Communist Democrats, Antifa, the News Media. Look at them back there. The Media. What a joke, right? Just wait. Tomorrow, they’ll say, he threatened the media. Sessions. Wouldn’t fire Mueller during the fake Russia investigation. So, I said, Jeff, you’re fired. And then he tried to run for office. And he lost. Lost terribly. That’s what happens. Trump’s not behind you, you lose.

Because I’m a winner. Won this election you wouldn’t believe how much—millions and millions of votes. But they got dead people voting. Illegals. Democrats. Can you believe that? They’re allowing Democrats to vote. Crazy, believe me. 11,000 votes. That’s all I need. It’s Tuesday night. I’m well ahead. Ahead everywhere. And then at the last minute they bring in all these boxes and boxes of votes—millions of them—all Biden. By dead people and Democrats. Biden. I know. The worst. He’ll take your jobs. Your cows. He wants the country to be Venezuela. Terrible. But that’s the radical Democrat Communist agenda, folks. I was saying to Ivanka—where is Ivanka? Ivanka, come up here and say something.

IVANKA: Hello, Georgia. I’m not going to say much because Daddy would get mad and I don’t have a brain anyway, but thank you. Thank you for coming out tonight and showing that you want to draw the line in the sand. That you are going to support David Doodoo and Kelly Loofa because the president has their backs. The greatest president in the history of our country, my father, Guardian of the Galaxy, Donald J. Trump.

JABBA THE TRUMP: Thank you, Ivanka. Nice legs on her, huh? I always say, if she weren’t my daughter, I’d be dating her. So, they’re trying to steal the election. Rename your military bases where so many heroes fought and died, named after great hero slave owners and rebels against your country. Nobody knows the military like Trump. You got, what? What’s that? Fort Benning? I don’t know. Maybe they could call it Fort Trump. I’d be OK with that.

But we won. We won by a lot. They call me up and they say, Sir, I can’t believe how they’re trying to steal it from you. It’s a statistical impossibility. Biden got more votes than there were people in the whole history of the country. Cause they got these machines. Need votes? Just print them up. Millions and millions of votes. Oh, this is a vote for TRUMP? Throw that one out.

The two worst events in the history of our country. First the fake Russia investigation. Then they try to steal the election. I don’t know. Not since the Continental Army had to fight off the Communist invasion from CHAIY-nuh was it so bad. Touch and go. Touch and go. That’s how it will be for Republicans if the Supremes—I’m not very happy with them right now—don’t step up and fix this thing. You know, I flew down here on a great helicopter—Marine One—great helicopter. Not as good as the Trump helicopter. Not by a long shot. But good. Like those stealth planes. Since I rebuilt the military. Terrible. It was in terrible shape, and I rebuilt it. They got these stealth planes, they’re actually invisible. You could be standing right next to it, and they would say, what do you think of the plane? And you would say, What plane? Because you couldn’t see it. Incredible. Incredible. So, I flew down on Marine One. And it’s like touch and go. Touch and go. Like my connection to reality.

But you’ll see. We won the election. We’re still going to win. Just wait. You’ll see. Big things happening. And any Senator goes against me, like your Governor here in Georgia, I’ll be campaigning against them. I can promise you that. You’re done. Finished.

OK. Well, that’s about it. Just wait and see the next couple days. You’ll see. Going to be wild out there. Good night, Geeorgia. Now, get me the hell out of here.

[JABBA exits to music of “YMCA” by The Village People. Satan and the ghost of Roy Cohn dance onstage to the music. Crowd in MAGA hats–Moscow’s Asset Governing America–mills around aimlessly, like zombies in The Walking Dead, trying to remember what day it is, their own names, and where the exits are located.]

The Trump campaign filed yet another lawsuit in Georgia to overturn the state’s vote, and once again Trump lost.

Remember that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get different results?

The Trump team, by that definition, is insane.

At what point will these fake lawyers be disciplined for clogging the calendars of state and federal courts with lawsuits that have no merit?

As we learned in the recording of his outrageous conversation with the Georgia Secretary of State, Trump will stop at nothing in his crazed efforts to cling to his office. He has lost interest in governing, but not in ruling. His base believes whatever claptrap he spews. Some theorize that it was Trump who released the recording of the conversation where he bullied Brad Raffensperger and tried to persuade him to “find” enough votes to reverse the results in Georgia. The recording allowed him to get all his nutty conspiracy theories into the public space, magnified by massive coverage. Since Georgia’s electoral votes would not be enough to change the outcome of the election, we can safely assume that Trump had similar conversations with state election officials in other states. He doesn’t seem to understand that the election is over. The votes were counted and recounted. The Electoral College met, and Biden won. The process on January 6 is supposed to be ceremonial not consequential. Trump’s surrogates sued to try to give the Vice-President the power to overturn the duly certified slates of electors and recognize alternate pro-Trump slates instead, but that lawsuit was dismissed in Texas by a federal judge appointed by Trump; when it was appealed to the Federal Appeals Court, a three-judge panel (all appointed by Republican presidents) affirmed the lower court decision to toss out the lawsuit.

However, Politico says that the call was recorded and released by the Georgia Secretary of State, for his own protection. He was burned once before by Lindsay Graham. Let’s give credit where credit is due: Secretary of State Raffensperger, a lifetime Republican, refused to be cowed by Graham; he refused to be cowed by Trump. He stood strong for election integrity, despite the pressure. He is an American hero.

Here is the full recording and transcript.

Politico wrote:

The story of the extraordinary call of a president pushing a top election official to rig the Georgia results was broken by the superb reporting of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Greg Bluestein and the Washington Post’s Amy Gardner, but the backstory is almost as interesting.

It started on Saturday when Trump and his team reached out to talk to Raffensperger, who, according to an adviser, felt he would be unethically pressured by the president. Raffensperger had been here before: In November he accused Trump ally and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham of improperly exhorting him to meddle in the election to help Trump win Georgia. Graham later denied it.

So why not record the call with the president, Raffensperger’s advisers thought, if nothing else for fact-checking purposes. “This is a man who has a history of reinventing history as it occurs,” one of them told Playbook. “So if he’s going to try to dispute anything on the call, it’s nice to have something like this, hard evidence, to dispute whatever he’s claiming about the secretary. Lindsey Graham asked us to throw out legally cast ballots. So yeah, after that call, we decided maybe we should do this.”

The call took place Saturday afternoon. “Mr. President,” announced Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, at the top of the call, “everyone is on the line.” Little did he know. Trump made his ask and did most of the talking for the next hour, trafficking in the same conspiracy theories about election fraud that no court or criminal investigator has found credible. At the end of the call, Trump complains, “What a schmuck I was.”

Raffensperger’s team kept quiet about the call and the recording and waited. The president made the next move, claiming on Sunday morning via Twitter that Raffensperger was “unwilling, or unable, to answer” questions about his baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true,” Raffensperger replied at 10:27 a.m. “The truth will come out.” It wasn’t an empty promise.

Now the best that Trump can hope for is to draw thousands of his rabid, armed supporters to the Capitol to threaten others and to create chaos. This won’t change the outcome of the election, unless Trump invokes the nineteenth-century Insurrection Act and declares martial law.

The Boston Globe published this editorial:

For worried residents of the District of Columbia, President Trump’s flailing efforts to overturn the results of a free and fair election that he lost no longer seem quite so funny. With the prospect of unrest in the nation’s capital when Trump’s loss is formalized on Wednesday, Republicans have run out of excuses for continuing to indulge Trump’s anti-democratic rants.

Not a single state or federal court has accepted the preposterous conspiracy theories floated by Trump and his supporters to explain his loss, ranging from zany stories of North Koreans smuggling ballots into Maine to supposed Sharpie malfunctions in Arizona. No election has been as thoroughly scrutinized as the 2020 vote, and even Trump’s own Justice Department acknowledges it couldn’t find any serious fraud, much less the vast plots of Trump’s imagination.


To their credit, state Republican officials in Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, and other states rejected those fictions. National Republicans, from Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell on down, have (belatedly) also acknowledged Joe Biden as the victor. In fact, the election wasn’t especially close: Democratic candidate Joe Biden won by more than 7 million votes, and with an Electoral College margin identical to Trump’s 2016 victory.Get Today in Opinion in your inboxGlobe Opinion’s must-reads, delivered to you every Sunday-Friday. Enter EmailSign Up

But the president remains immersed in his conspiratorial fantasyland, careening from one delusional idea to another, apparently in hopes that one fringe theory will finally pay off, a deus ex whackina that changes the ending of the 2020 election.

And on Wednesday, when Congress meets to formally certify Biden’s victory, Trump has called for his supporters to descend on Washington for a protest he said would be “wild.”

Of course, protesting is any American’s right. But especially considering the way the last gathering of Trump supporters in Washington descended into violence, lawmakers need to stop giving oxygen to his efforts and firmly reject expected challenges to the vote-certifying on Wednesday. Trump’s fellow Republicans have mostly indulged him by treating his complaints as plausibly legitimate. But that’s only emboldened what would otherwise be a crackpot fringe. By doing so, they’re risking a greater likelihood of trouble on the streets of Washington in the short term, and more lasting damage to trust in democracy in the long term.



Certifying an election is a ministerial job, not a policy decision; it’s not Congress’s job on Wednesday to say whether they like the results of an election or the way that states conducted their votes. Still, if even a single House member and a single senator object to a state’s electoral votes, it triggers a mandatory two-hour debate in Congress and then a vote on whether to accept the state’s votes. As of Saturday, eleven GOP senators and senators-elect had pledged to join House members in objecting to some states’ electoral votes. Trump and his supporters had been pushing members of Congress to object to states Biden won, and demanding that Vice President Mike Pence — who will preside over the count in a ceremonial capacity — switch Biden states to Trump, which he does not have the power to do. (In another dead-end lawsuit, some GOP lawmakers tried to change the law dating back to the 19th century to give Pence the authority to override voters.)

Seeking to avoid a debacle, McConnell lobbied Republican senators not to raise objections to Biden’s victories, apparently unsuccessfully. Meanwhile, according to a top aide, Pence supports the GOP lawmakers’ egregious plan to legitimize the president’s conspiracy theories on the floor of Congress.

Ever since election day, Republicans have generally defended Trump’s challenges to the outcome as within his legal rights. Likewise, insisting on a floor debate on individual states’ presidential votes is perfectly legal. But what is legally permissible and what is right for a polarized and frazzled country aren’t the same.

The country needs to turn the page not just on Trump, but also the toxic brand of conspiracism that he’s mainstreamed into American politics. That won’t be easy. But members of Congress ought to do their part by publicly rejecting Trump’s conspiracy-laced demands to subvert the electoral count, and recognizing Biden’s clear victory. Those who do not don’t deserve to be in public office in a democracy.

Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Saturday and spent an hour on the phone with him, pleading, cajoling, threatening, and demanding that he “find 11,780 votes” to flip the state to Trump’s column. Georgia’s state leaders are Republicans. The November vote in Georgia was counted three times.

In an exclusive report, the Washington Post quoted from a recording of the telephone call:

President Trump urged fellow Republican Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, to “find” enough votes to overturn his defeat in an extraordinary one-hour phone call Saturday that election experts said raised legal questions.


The Washington Post obtained a recording of the conversation in which Trump alternately berated Raffensperger, tried to flatter him, begged him to act and threatened him with vague criminal consequences if the Secretary of State refused to pursue his false claims, at one point warning that Raffensperger was taking “a big risk.”


Throughout the call, Raffensperger and his office’s general counsel rejected his assertions, explaining that Trump is relying on debunked conspiracy theories and that President-elect Joe Biden’s 11,779-vote victory in Georgia was fair and accurate.


Trump dismissed their arguments.
“The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry,” he said. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”


Raffensperger responded: “Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong.”

At another point, Trump said: “So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”


The rambling, at times incoherent conversation, offered a remarkable glimpse of how consumed and desperate the president remains about his loss, unwilling or unable to let the matter go and still believing he can reverse the results in enough battleground states to remain in office.


“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” Trump said, a phrase he repeated again and again on the call. “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”


Several of his allies were on the line as he spoke, including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and conservative lawyer Cleta Mitchell, a prominent GOP lawyer whose involvement with Trump’s efforts had not been previously known.


In a statement, Mitchell said that Raffensperger’s office “has made many statements over the past two months that are simply not correct and everyone involved with the efforts on behalf of the President’s election challenge has said the same thing: show us your records on which you rely to make these statements that our numbers are wrong.”


The White House, the Trump campaign and Meadows did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Raffensperger’s office declined to comment.


On Sunday, Trump tweeted that he had spoken to Raffensperger, saying the secretary of state was “unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the “ballots under table” scam, ballot destruction, out of state “voters”, dead voters, and more. He has no clue!”


Raffensperger responded with his own tweet: “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true.”

The article continues to quote the conversation in detail. It’s worth subscribing to the Washington Post to read this article in full.

Trump threatens the Georgia Secretary of State with legal consequences if he does not switch the vote for him and warns that the Senate elections will be jeopardized by the state leaders’ failure to change the results.

But Trump’s actions were legally dubious.

Trump’s conversation with Raffensperger put him in legally questionable territory, legal experts said. By exhorting the secretary of state to “find” votes and to deploy investigators who “want to find answers,” Trump appears to be encouraging him to doctor the election outcome in Georgia.


But experts said Trump’s clearer transgression is a moral one. Edward B. Foley, a law professor at the Ohio State University, said that the legal questions are murky and would be subject to prosecutorial discretion. But he also emphasized that the call was “inappropriate and contemptible” and should prompt moral outrage.


“He was already tripping the emergency meter,” Foley said. “So we were at 12 on a scale of 1 to 10, and now we’re at 15.”

Can music change the world?

These Broadway stars think it can.

They made a super-COVID video of “Georgia on my Mind.”

On January 5, Georgia will vote in two extraordinary unprecedented elections to determine whether the U. S. Senate will be controlled by Mitch McConnell, who calls himself “the Grim Reaper,” or will have a 50-50 split between the two parties, enabling Vice-President Kamala Harris to be the tie-breaker and giving the Biden administration a chance to enact its ambitious agenda.

If you live in Georgia, please vote for Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock.

In a curious twist in this strange season, Trump said that the entire Georgia election, including the two Senate runoffs, were “illegal and invalid.” This was Trump expressing his pique that he lost Georgia, but Democrats hope that some of his base will protest the “illegal” election by stating home and not voting.



The Republican Senators of Georgia are accused of unethical financial transactions, using their insider knowledge to buy and sell stocks during the pandemic.

Led by Trump and his base, QAnon conspiracy theorists are targeting Georgia in their effort to overturn the 2020 election. We are heading into Cloud CuckooLand in American politics.

This story by Drew Harrell explains why Georgia election official was so angry. Read it to the end. It appeared in the Washington Post:

In her legal quest to reverse the reality of last month’s election, President Trump’s recently disavowed attorney Sidney Powell has gained a strange new ally: the longtime administrator of the message board 8kun, the QAnon conspiracy theory’s Internet home.
Powell on Tuesday filed an affidavit from Ron Watkins, the son of 8kun’s owner Jim Watkins, in a Georgia lawsuit alleging that Dominion Voting Systems machines used in the election had been corrupted as part of a sprawling voter-fraud conspiracy.
Powell has claimed that a diabolical scheme backed by global communists had invisibly shifted votes with help from a mysterious computer algorithm pioneered by the long-dead Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez — a wild story debunked by fact-checkers as a “fantasy parade” and devoid of proof.
No real evidence was included in Watkins’s affidavit, either. But Watkins, who said in the affidavit that he lives in Japan, nevertheless speculated that — based on his recent reading of the Dominion software’s online user guide — it may be “within the realm of possibility” for a biased poll worker to fraudulently switch votes.

Watkins’s affidavit marks one of the first official connections between a notable player in the QAnon conspiracy universe and Trump’s muddled multistate legal campaign, which some of the president’s allies have labeled, in the words of Chris Christie, a “national embarrassment.”
Many similar Trump-QAnon overtures have already played out on TV and social media since the election nearly one month ago. Watkins made similar allegations in an unchallenged segment on the far-right One America News network, which Trump retweeted to his 88 million followers last month.

Powell and her client Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, are effectively celebrities to QAnon loyalists, who posit online that both will soon help “release the Kraken” and expose a bombshell that could salvage a Trump second term, vanquish his enemies and unveil the hidden machinations of a communist conspiracy.
Since claiming to have resigned last month from 8kun, Watkins has devoted much of his online activity to claims about unfounded suspicions regarding Dominion, an 18-year-old voting-technology company whose computer programs, ballot printers and other products are used by elections officials in 28 states. Trump and his supporters have loudly attacked the Denver-based company as having contributed in some unproved way to steal the vote.

In a lengthy rebuttal last week, Dominion said that Powell’s claims were nonsensical: Manual recounts, machine tests and independent audits had reaffirmed that the voting systems had given accurate, undistorted results. Her “wild and reckless allegations,” the company added, were “not only demonstrably false” but had “led to stalking, harassment, and death threats to Dominion employees.”


In his affidavit, Watkins called himself an information security expert with nine years of experience as a “network and information defense analyst” and security engineer. But he did not mention that his experience had come largely through 8kun, the site once called 8chan that was knocked offline for nearly three months last year.

The message board is infamous for its anonymous threads of racist bile and extremist threats, and the site was used by gunmen to announce and celebrate three fatal attacks last year — at an El Paso Walmart, a San Diego-area synagogue and a New Zealand mosque.

Major web-services providers that form the Internet’s backbone have refused to work with the site, with one executive telling The Washington Post last year that Watkins’s site had facilitated “mass shootings and extreme hate speech with intolerable consequences.”


Ron Watkins holds an exalted role in QAnon’s online sphere of influence: He and his father are among the few people who can verify posts from Q, the conspiracy theory’s unnamed prophet (and a self-proclaimed government agent with top-secret clearance) who claims to post solely on 8kun. (The strange arrangement has fueled unproved theories that the Watkinses have helped write Q’s posts, or are Q themselves, which both men deny.)

Q has posted more than 4,000 times since 2017, but only three times since the election, sparking a mix of anxiety and faith-based recommitment among QAnon believers.


Attorney General William P. Barr said on Tuesday that investigators with the FBI and Justice Department hadn’t “seen anything to substantiate” the claims of mass voter fraud.


But Watkins and his supporters have continued to hunt for clues to support the unproven claims of a secret Dominion scheme.

Shortly after midnight Tuesday, Watkins posted what he called “a smoking-gun video” of a Dominion worker manipulating Georgia voting data by “plugging an elections USB drive into an external laptop … then suspiciously walking away.”


The undated video — which was recorded at a distance and includes a man and woman offering ongoing commentary of the “nerd boy” as he works inside an election office — shows nothing even remotely conclusive of voter fraud: The man uses a computer and a thumb drive, all of it very obviously caught on camera.

But Watkins’s messages nevertheless kicked QAnon-echoing accounts and online Trump supporters into conspiracy-theory overdrive. Many began sharing the name of a Georgia man they believed had been captured on the video, after they’d zoomed in on the man’s identification badge. A number of accounts on Twitter, 8kun and other pro-Trump websites shared links to the man’s possible LinkedIn profile, phone numbers, home address and personal details, including a photo of him as a groomsman in a friend’s wedding in 2018.

A Dominion representative said the company wouldn’t comment on alleged employee matters or safety issues, but that it was working to report all threats to law enforcement.


Watkins did not respond to questions, and a woman he had thanked on Twitter for sharing the original video said she had “no comment about anything.”

The man’s name and identifying information is still bouncing around the Web, with some people calling for his imprisonment, torture or execution. For several hours on Tuesday, just typing in the first two letters of his name into Twitter would automatically complete the rest of his name. One tweet includes his name and said he is “guilty of treason” and added, alongside an animated image of a hanging noose: “May God have mercy on your soul.”


Gabriel Sterling, a top official with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, addressed the threat in a fiery news conference Tuesday afternoon and called out Trump and Republican senators for not condemning the violent language. Sterling said the man caught on camera had been transferring a report to a county computer so he could read it.

“It’s all gone too far. All of it,” he said. “This 20-year-old contractor for a voting system company [was] just trying to do this job,” he added. “His family is getting harassed now. There’s a noose out there with his name on it. And it’s not right. … This kid took a job. He just took a job, and it’s just wrong.”

Georgia has a Republican Governor and Republican state officials. The presidential election was conducted under the auspices of Republicans. Biden won the election by a small margin. Trump insisted on a hand recount, and it confirmed that Biden won. Trump has demanded another recount.

Trump has taken to Twitter to excoriate Governor Kemp for refusing to change the results. He and his proxies have attacked the state’s election officials. The Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger condemned the conspiracy theories and groundless attacks on the election. Another state election official spoke out and said, “This has to stop.” He warned that someone could be killed because of the violence unleashed by Trump.

This story appeared in the New York Times:

ATLANTA — In one of the most striking rebukes to President Trump since he launched his baseless attacks on the American electoral process, a top-ranking Georgia election official lashed out at the president on Tuesday for failing to condemn threats of violence against people overseeing the voting system in his state.

“It has to stop,” Gabriel Sterling, a Republican and Georgia’s voting system implementation manager, said at an afternoon news conference at the state Capitol, his voice shaking with emotion. “Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language.”

He added: “This is elections. This is the backbone of democracy, and all of you who have not said a damn word are complicit in this. It’s too much.”

Mr. Sterling’s outburst of anger and frustration came amid a sustained assault on Georgia’s election process by Mr. Trump as he seeks to reverse his loss to his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Mr. Sterling, who previously said he had received threats himself, said that threats had also been made against the wife of his superior, Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state.

“Mr. President, it looks like you likely lost the state of Georgia,” Mr. Sterling said. He added that the president needed to “step up” and say, “Stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence. Someone is going to get hurt, someone is going to get shot, someone is going to get killed. And it’s not right.”

Mr. Sterling also called on the state’s two Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, to condemn the rhetoric that he said was getting dangerously out of hand. The two senators, both Trump loyalists, have called for Mr. Raffensperger to resign.

As Mr. Trump hurls false claims of fraud in Georgia, a number of lawsuits filed by conservatives in state and federal courts are seeking to decertify the results. The second of two recounts requested by the Trump campaign is in progress and is expected to wind up Wednesday. And the Georgia Republican Party has descended into a state of virtual civil war as some of its most powerful players maneuver and malign their rivals, seeking advantage, or at least survival.

In the meantime, Mr. Trump continues to lash out at Gov. Brian Kemp and Mr. Raffensperger, both staunch Republicans and Trump supporters, over the fact that he lost Georgia, saying they have not sufficiently rooted out fraud.

As late as Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump made the latest in a series of unsubstantiated claims about the Georgia election, writing on Twitter that the state had been “scammed” and urging Mr. Kemp to “call off” the election.

Some of Mr. Trump’s supporters have taken to the streets and the Capitol building in downtown Atlanta, where the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars recently joined them. In other cases, Trump supporters have harassed or threatened Mr. Sterling, Mr. Raffensperger and others.

In a statement Tuesday evening, Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, said: “The campaign is focused on ensuring that all legal votes are counted and all illegal votes are not. No one should engage in threats or violence, and if that has happened, we condemn that fully.”

Amid all of this, Mr. Sterling, a detail-oriented former city councilman from the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs, has taken on a prominent role in the state as it conducted its recounts. Along with Mr. Raffensperger, he has often been the main speaker in numerous news conferences in which he has explained the complexities of Georgia’s election and recount systems and has argued that the results, which currently show Mr. Biden winning by about 12,700 votes, are trustworthy.

Ari Schaffer, press secretary for the secretary of state’s office, did not answer directly when asked Tuesday whether Mr. Raffensperger had given Mr. Sterling his blessing to speak out so forcefully against the president. But he noted that the deputy secretary of state, Jordan Fuchs, had been standing near Mr. Sterling when he made his statements.

“Gabriel has my support,” Ms. Fuchs said independently in a text message.

Late Tuesday, representatives for Ms. Loeffler and Mr. Perdue said they condemned violence of any kind but also said they would not apologize for seeking accountability and accuracy in the state’s elections. 

In the second of two news conferences called by the secretary of state’s office on Tuesday, Mr. Sterling, speaking loudly, emotionally and deliberately, said that people had intruded on Mr. Raffensperger’s personal property. He said that Mr. Raffensperger’s wife “is getting sexualized threats through her cellphone.” He mentioned that he had police protection outside his own house, a topic he had also broached in a Nov. 21 tweet.

“So this is fun … multiple attempted hacks of my emails, police protection around my home, the threats,” Mr. Sterling wrote then. “But all is well … following the law, following the process … doing our jobs.”

This is not fun. This is no joke. Trump is sowing distrust in democracy and endangering the lives of election officials who refuse to rig the results for him.