Georgia's secretary of state Brad Raffensperger is no champion of democracy, but he plays one on TV.
The Georgia Republican has been widely celebrated for refusing to bow to Donald Trump's pressure campaign to overturn his election loss, but he pushes fearmongering conspiracy theories about voter fraud to justify GOP bills restricting ballot access, argued MSNBC columnist Ja'han Jones.
"You can hear Raffensperger trying to downplay Trump’s claims of election fraud while creating space for Georgia Republicans to continue their attacks on Democratic efforts to increase voter participation. In 2019, Georgia Republicans enacted a law restricting 'ballot harvesting' — known simply as ballot collection — that effectively barred voters from having their ballots dropped off by someone who isn’t a close family member or doesn't live in the same household," Jones wrote. "Democrats have sued over such laws across the country, noting the bipartisan strategy is particularly popular among Blacks and Indigenous people."
Raffensperger supports a constitutional amendment requiring voters to present photo identification at the polls, which Georgia already requires.
"A frequent guest on TV news programs, Raffensperger has largely skated on the goodwill brought by his criticism of Trump, one of the most objectionable people in human history," Jones wrote. "But Georgia’s secretary of state is no ally of democracy: He’s still giving life to the conservative fearmongering that allowed Trump’s illiberal lies to fester."