Concede or fight on? Hall County area Republicans said Monday, Nov. 9, that President Donald Trump must push forward with all options available in challenging the election results.
“If I were his adviser, I’d want to make sure I looked under every stone and made sure that everything was done to the letter of the law,” state Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, said. “But once I satisfied myself of that, then I would do the responsible thing, do what’s best for the nation.”
“It’s not a constitutional requirement, but a matter of politeness, politics and etiquette for him to concede,” he added. “It’s been part of our electoral process for as long as I can remember.”
Hall’s legislative delegation said in a joint statement: “Currently, there is an ongoing investigation of the election in Georgia. It is our understanding once all the votes have been counted, there will be an audit of the election, a recount and then the election will be certified. The president is a strong leader and fighter. His recount team, led by Hall County’s own Doug Collins, along with the Georgia GOP, is looking into double votes, out-of-state-votes, felon votes and deceased voters.
“The Hall County legislative delegation stands behind the belief that every eligible legal vote has the right to be counted. We are continuing to do everything in our power to ensure a fair and accurate outcome to this election.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Monday his office is investigating all allegations of fraud but does not see widespread evidence of it.
"Was there illegal voting? I am sure there was," Raffensperger said in a statement. "And my office is investigating all of it. Does it rise to the numbers or margin necessary to change the outcome to where President Trump is given Georgia’s electoral votes? That is unlikely."
Monday morning, Gabriel Sterling, a lifelong Republican who manages Georgia's voting system, took to a lectern at the Capitol to dismiss criticism of election illegalities in the state as "fake news" and "disinformation."
"Hoaxes and nonsense," Sterling said. "Don't buy into these things. Find trusted sources."
Hours later, GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler — who are each in a Jan. 5 runoff that will determine control of the chamber — called on Raffensperger to resign for allegedly mismanaging the state's elections.
"That is not going to happen," Raffensperger said.
Betty Fisher, president of Republican Women of Hall County, said she believes Trump “should continue to fight this until the end.”
She cited conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh in saying, “It’s really not about (Trump). It’s about the whole election process. Seventy-one million people voted for him, and you’re going to leave 71 million people hanging out here with a bad taste in our mouths for the rest of our lives if we don’t see this to the end.”
Fisher said she wants U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, “to get into Georgia and find out what’s going on. I guarantee that if Doug verifies that everything is OK, then it’s OK.”
“I do not believe President Trump will concede until he’s run the due course.”
Trump’s campaign announced Sunday, Nov. 8, that Collins would lead his recount team in Georgia, as President-elect Joe Biden continued to narrowly lead Trump in the contest for Georgia's 16 electoral votes. The Associated Press declared Biden the nationwide winner Saturday, Nov. 7, but has not called a winner in Georgia.
“We are confident we will find evidence of improperly harvested ballots and other irregularities that will prove that President Trump won Georgia fairly again on his way to re-election as president,” Collins has said. “Georgians deserve a free and open process, and they will get one.” No specific information about alleged harvested ballots or irregularities was provided by Trump or Collins on Monday.
“This is not over,” Collins said on Facebook. “We won’t stop fighting!”
James King, chairman of the Young Republicans of Northeast Georgia, said he also believes Trump shouldn’t concede.
“I believe it was dangerously irresponsible of the media to call the race for Biden, especially as close as it is and the fact that no state has officially called (the race for) any candidate.”
Like many others, King cited the 2000 presidential election in which “we had 37 days of President-Elect Al Gore before it was realized George W. Bush was the president of the United States. That might be what we experience here. History tends to repeat itself.”
“I’m not saying that President Trump has won the election, per se, but there are certainly a lot of questionable situations that have happened over the past week.”
Another local Republican, Ed Asbridge, a Flowery Branch city councilman who helped start the South Hall Republican Club, said he believes Trump should concede, “but I do think they should follow up on the (alleged) fraud.”
“We have no way of knowing if there’s enough fraudulent votes to change everything,” he said. “My sense is there is not.”