Washington — Georgia's GOP Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler called on its secretary of state, Republican Brad Raffensperger, to step down from his post "immediately" due to what they claim is "mismanagement and lack of transparency" in its elections this year.
"The management of Georgia elections has become an embarrassment for our state. Georgians are outraged, and rightly so," the two said in a statement. "We have been clear from the beginning: every legal vote cast should be counted. Any illegal vote must not. And there must be transparency and uniformity in the counting process. This isn't hard. This isn't partisan. This is American."
The two Republicans, whose Senate races are likely heading to runoff elections after they failed to garner 50% of the vote in their respective races, said Raffensperger has "failed to deliver honest and transparent elections," and failed Georgia voters.
"There have been too many failures in Georgia elections this year and the most recent election has shined a national light on the problems," Perdue and Loeffler said. "While blame certainly lies elsewhere as well, the buck ultimately stops with the secretary of state."
Perdue and Loeffler did not expand on the failures they allege, though the state has taken days to report its results, likely due to an influx of mail-in ballots. The presidential race in the Peach State remains a toss-up, CBS News estimates, but Mr. Biden currently leads Mr. Trump by 11,590 votes.
Raffensperger rejected the senators' calls to resign, saying in a statement that "the voters of Georgia hired me, and the voters will be the one to fire me." He also called the general election Tuesday a "resounding success" in terms of election administration, noting the low wait times at the polls and the number of Georgians who cast ballots.
"I know emotions are running high. Politics are involved in everything right now," he said. "If I was Senator Perdue, I'd be irritated I was in a runoff. And both senators and I are all unhappy with the potential outcome for our president. But I am the duly elected secretary of state. One of my duties involves helping to run elections for all Georgia voters. I have taken that oath, and I will execute that duty and follow Georgia law."
Raffensperger said his office is investigating any illegal voting and rejected Perdue and Loeffler's claims there was a lack of transparency.
"We were literally putting releases of results up a minimum hourly. I and my office have been holding daily or twice-daily briefings for the press to walk them through all the numbers," he said. "So that particular charge is laughable."
Raffensperger suggested the two senators begin focusing on Republicans maintaining their majority in the Senate.