(CN) — At a press conference Thursday, Dec. 10, voting system implementation manager for the Georgia Secretary of State Gabriel Sterling, tried to clear up some of the disinformation around the election.
Over the last few weeks, Sterling has taken the podium in front of the south stairs of the Georgia Capitol to give updates and explain the process as the state tallied the results of the November general election, launched a hand re-tally audit and finally a recount of the results. And with that job, he has pushed back on disinformation.
In the weeks following November’s general election, fueled by President Donald Trump, doubts and misinformation spread regarding Georgia’s voter system. But in this critical race that will determine the makeup of the U.S. Senate, the question remains of how voters are responding to the claims their election system is faulty in this runoff and elections beyond.
"Giving oxygen to this continued disinformation is leading to a continuing erosion in people's belief in our elections and our processes,” Sterling said during the conference. “We have rules, we have laws.”
At the press conference last week, Sterling ran down a list of false allegations that cropped up in the aftermath of President-elect Joe Biden’s narrow win in the state.
No, neither he nor other election officials have seen money from the Chinese communists, Sterling said. No, he’s not a commie.
However, the Trump campaign has fanned the smoldering embers of debunked stories.
No, there wasn’t a rush of felons voting in the election, Sterling said. The Secretary of State’s office is investigating less than 100 instances of felons possibly voting. And Sterling said the system makes it impossible for unregistered or underaged people from casting ballots.
He compared the task of rebutting the misinformation to using a shovel against an ocean, the disinformation brought by Trump, using the august weight of the office of the president.
Sterling is a Republican. His own family members cannot believe that Trump lost the deep south state of Georgia. But Biden narrowly won thanks to the normal ebbs and flows of demographic change in the state, he said.
Then there’s talk of people who want to take their ball and go home, the folks who say they’d rather sit out the election.
“Do not listen to those who tell you don't vote on January 5 as a protest. That's silly. It's a silly thing to do, to deny yourself the vote,” Sterling said.
On Dec. 14, the Electoral College confirmed that Biden is the 46th president of the United States. The day after, Trump retweeted attorney Lin Wood’s comments that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger should be jailed.
On Friday, Trump used Twitter to once again demand Kemp call the state Legislature into a special session to attack the election results.
“Governor @BrianKempGA of Georgia still has not called a Special Session,” Trump wrote. “So easy to do, why is he not doing it? It will give us the State. MUST ACT NOW!”
The doubt Trump expressed in the integrity of Georgia’s voting infrastructure has trickled down into the runoff race. Republicans Senator David Perdue, seeking reelection, and Senator Kelly Loeffler, seeking to keep the seat she was appointed to after former Senator Johnny Isakson stepped down, have both called on Raffensperger to step down over his administration of the election.
They again issued a joint statement supporting the Texas Attorney General’s failed effort at the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to overturn the results of the election.
This week, they accused Raffensperger of failing to provide a list of the newly registered voters who signed up to vote between the general and runoff election.