My1sttoday: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said voting rights activist Stacey Abrams “conned” Georgia election officials, leading to a Democratic presidential win there for the first time in nearly two decades.
Sen. Graham took issue with voter signature checks in the state stemming from a consent decree, a legal settlement reached in March that followed a lawsuit by the Georgia Democratic Party which argued minorities had been disproportionately impacted when their ballots were rejected.
The settlement addresses what was seen as a lack of standards in comparing signatures.
President Trump and other allies including Graham insist the agreement prevented election officials from properly checking signatures, resulting in unsubstantiated election fraud that handed President-elect Joe Biden a win in the state.
Biden was the first Democrat to win Georgia in a presidential race since 1992.
“Stacey Abrams conned the Republican leadership in Georgia into a consent decree that basically adulterated the signature verification system, so that you’re comparing the ballot signature to the application signature,” Graham said during an appearance on “The Mike Gallagher Show.” “They’re the same person who did the fraud. You should be comparing the ballot signature, the envelope signature on the ballot, to a signature that existed before the application was made. She changed that.”
Trump tweeted about the consent decree a week after the election, arguing that it “makes it impossible to check & match signatures on ballots and envelopes, etc.”
An Associated Press fact check of the president’s tweet found the claim to be false.
“There is nothing in the consent decree that prevents Georgia election clerks from scrutinizing signatures,” the AP reported. “The legal settlement signed in March addresses accusations about a lack of statewide standards for judging signatures on absentee ballot envelopes.”
Election officials in Georgia have said those claims are false after conducting multiple recounts and audits of the election outcome. The state has also certified its election results.
On Nov. 23, Abrams announced that more than 750,000 Georgians have requested ballots for the contests.