More on Kemp

More rhetorical undermining, even as the process moves forward.

SANDY SPRINGS, GA – MARCH 06: “I’m a Georgia Voter” stickers are seen at a polling station in St Andrew Presbyterian Church March 6, 2012 in Sandy Springs, Georgia. Ten states, including Georgia, hold caucuses and primaries today for voters to pick their choices for the Republican presidential nominee. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

As I noted earlier today, Governor Kemp (R-GA) did the right thing in terms of signing the certification of the vote in George as delivered by the Secretary of State. However, he is still playing some games. Via CBS News: Georgia governor calls for audit after state certifies election results.

But Kemp didn’t endorse the results, instead calling for another full hand recount. Kemp, who served as Georgia secretary of state before Raffensperger, has not publicly defended the state’s election process from accusations from the president and his campaign. He alleged Friday that the audit revealed significant errors made in several counties, including Floyd, Douglas and Walton. 

Kemp said the audit only looked at ballots, not the signatures on the absentee applications or the signatures on the ballot envelopes. He called for Raffensperger to “consider addressing these concerns” and conduct a “sample of audit of signatures on absentee ballot envelopes and compare those to the signatures on applications and on file that the secretary of state’s office.”

So, after the original count, and a hand recount as part of an audit, Biden was confirmed to have won twice. Now Kemp is calling for another hand recount and is bringing up the bogeyman of signatures.

Alas, there is this minor detail:

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office has said repeatedly that at this point in the process it is not possible to match signatures — which already took place as a part of a two-step signature verification process — because ballots are separated from envelopes to ensure the secrecy of voters’ selections.

No doubt this will be spun as a reason for Trump adherents to doubt the results.

Under the law, the only recourse left to team Trump is a machine recount, which one suspects will happen.

Since the results of the hand recount were still within the 0.5% margin, the Trump campaign may request another recount within two business days. If the Trump campaign does ask for another recount, it will be a machine recount.

More from the AJC: AJC Interview: Why Kemp formalized Georgia’s election despite Trump’s pushback.

FILED UNDER: 2020 Election, Democracy, US Politics, , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Scott F. says:

    Every time Kemp’s name is typed in a story about an election of any kind, it should include the pertinent fact that he would not recuse himself from overseeing an election in which he had an obvious conflict of interest and subsequently significant Republican malfeasance occurred in that election. Without that context, one might assume that he had some credibility when challenging the validity of the results.

  2. MarkedMan says:

    The leadership of today’s Republican Party are dirtbags and scum suckers. That’s all you need to know.

  3. gVOR08 says:

    So like essentially every other Republican Kemp is accepting the requirement of the law but trying to weasel word obeisance to the base. “OK, Biden won. But let’s pretend he didn’t really.” Not exactly “Profiles in Courage” material.

  4. Jay L Gischer says:

    Very few Democrats are going to be willing to give Kemp the benefit of the doubt. I can see his behavior in multiple ways though.

    For instance, I don’t think he’s advocating “signature matching”, but some other ad hoc process. This process – randomly sampled envelopes checked against voter registrations – would produce nothing untoward, and likely increase confidence in the results.

    It can also be made to look like Kemp is doubtful about the results. Ambiguity at its finest.

  5. @Jay L Gischer: He is helping give folks already unmoored from reality some reason to continue to drift away from the truth. It is corrosive.

  6. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I think you’re right. It reminds me that I often see political leaders as slavish followers. Is he just trying to stay on good terms with his crowd, or is he inciting them? Probably both.