The FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations are investigating threats lodged against the state's top election officials according to a report, after leaders became targets of ridicule over the handling of the general election.
President Donald Trump continues to allege that widespread voting fraud and irregularities occurred in Georgia, even placing blame on fellow Republicans despite a recount confirming tallies that indicated Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden won the state.
What are the details?
Georgia Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs told Forbes on Sunday that federal and state law enforcement agencies were investigating threats against Raffensperger and his team, but she did not provide further details. The GBI issued a statement confirming it was looking into alleged threats against the state's election officials.
Last week, Raffensperger told The Washington Post that he and his wife, Tricia, had received death threats while he was overseeing a second recount of the state's votes from the Nov. 3 election. The secretary of state said that one text message he received read, "You better not botch this recount. Your life depends on it."
Over the weekend, Georgia's voting system manager, Republican Gabriel Sterling, also said that he had been threatened and harassed.
"So this is fun," he tweeted, sarcastically. "multiple attempted hacks of my emails, police protection around my home, the threats. But all is well...following the the law, following the process...doing our jobs."
So this is fun...multiple attempted hacks of my emails, police protection around my home, the threats. But all is w… https://t.co/jMSNQDL0Kj— Gabriel Sterling (@Gabriel Sterling)1606011811.0
The New York Post reported that "despite calling himself a 'proud' supporter of President Trump, Raffensperger has also found himself repeatedly under attack over the handling of the state's election process after declaring Joe Biden the victor after a hand recount."
President Trump has led the charge on blaming Raffensperger for his performance on the election oversight, and Republican Georgia Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue — both up for re-election in runoffs races slated for January — have called for the GOP secretary of state to resign.
Days ago, the president also attacked Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, another Republican and Trump supporter, claiming he and Raffensperger "refuse to let us look at signatures which would expose hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots."
...Why won’t they do it, and why are they so fast to certify a meaningless tally?— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1605901114.0
Raffensperger pushes back
But Raffensperger refuted the president's claims, writing in a Washington Post op-ed that "in Georgia, signatures for absentee ballot voters are verified twice to ensure that each voter gets one vote — and only one vote."
The truth is that the people of Georgia — and across the country — should not have any remaining doubts about who was elected governor two years ago or who won the presidential election earlier this month. The presidential outcome was remarkably close, but the new paper-ballot system, the strong election security and integrity mechanisms in place, and the audit and hand recount should combine to put to rest any doubts about the final outcome.
Georgia's vote tallies will be counted a third time, with a second recount set to begin Tuesday morning at the request of the Trump campaign, the Associated Press reported.
The outlet noted that according to Sterling, "counties are to give public notice of when during that period they will be counting so monitors from political parties and any interested members of the public can be there to observe."
The election results, certified last week by Raffensperger, showed Biden winning by 12,670 votes out of about 5 million cast.