Georgian Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a Republican, criticized his own party’s pressure for electoral reform following the 2020 election, saying GOP lawmakers should first admit that former President Donald Trump has lost “fair and square”.
Republicans in the Georgia General Assembly have pushed through an electoral reform package that has been condemned by Democrats as the “new Jim Crow” because they see the bill as work to make it harder for voters to vote. people of color in the state. While Duncan believes there are some positive aspects to the package, he disagrees with other parties and said the timing of the bill was a bad decision by Republicans.
“I don’t think this is the best step forward,” Duncan said in an interview with CNN Monday morning. He pointed to a provision in the legislation that removed Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, from running elections in Georgia. Raffensperger drew Trump’s ire after refusing to give in to pressure from the then president and change the election results.
“Look, the only thing Brad Raffensperger really did wrong in this area was – he was President Trump’s scapegoat,” the Georgia GOP official said.
Duncan suggested Republicans don’t have much credibility to talk about electoral reforms after so many backed the former president’s ‘grand hoax’ that the 2020 election was ‘stolen’ or ‘rigged’ by Democrats and Biden.
“I think Republicans have to do it – the best way to start the conversation about electoral reform for a Republican is to walk into a room and say, ‘Former President Donald Trump lost the fair and square ballot. Now let’s talk about ways to improve the current elections… forward, ”he said.
Earlier this month, Duncan walked out of the chamber as the Georgia State Senate began debating legislation, which inevitably passed by the GOP-controlled legislature (with some modifications) and was promulgated by Republican Governor Brian Kemp last Thursday. Duncan, like Raffensperger and other prominent Georgian Republicans, has repeatedly rebuffed Trump’s false claims about widespread voter fraud – many of which focused on the Georgia election. Biden was successful in turning the Tory state blue, as were Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in the Senate second round in January.
“Republicans don’t need electoral reform to win, we need leadership. I think there are millions of Republicans waking up across the country who are realizing that the tone and strategy of division Donald Trump is not winnable in a forward-looking election. We need real leadership, we need new – a new focus, a GOP 2.0 that includes moderates in the middle, to bring us to the next cycle election, ‘Duncan told NBC News’ Meet the press two weeks ago, before the adoption of the new electoral bill in Georgia.
More than 40 states have seen Republicans come up with legislation that would make it harder for residents to vote. These actions were largely justified by the false account of widespread fraud pushed by Trump and his supporters. Meanwhile, voting rights activists warn these actions disproportionately affect voters of color, who have historically been targeted by voter suppression tactics.
Newsweek contacted Kemp’s office for comment on Duncan’s remarks, but did not immediately receive a response.