SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – “It has all gone too far,” Georgia’s voting system implementation manager said Tuesday of the rhetoric surrounding the state’s election.
Angry with President Donald Trump and with Georgia’s Republican senators, Gabriel Sterling said their unanimous decision to refrain from condemning violence and threats made against top election officials and workers was wrong.
“You have to be responsible!” said Sterling, banging his fist on the podium. “You have to be responsible for your rhetoric, you have to responsible for your statements, you have to be responsible in your deeds. That shouldn’t be too much to ask from people who asked for us to give them responsibility.”
Sterling’s outrage seemed to quickly get the attention of the president and Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
“All of you who have not said a damn word are complicit in this,” Sterling said.
Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh said in a statement Tuesday evening, “No one should engage in threats or violence, and if that has happened, we condemn that fully.”
Representatives for Perdue and Loeffler issued similar statements, saying the Republican senators condemn violence of any kind.
The president still took to Twitter to reiterate unfounded claims of “massive voter fraud in Georgia.” The statements from the senators also criticized Georgia’s election process.
“Senator Perdue condemns violence of any kind, against anybody. Period. We won’t apologize for addressing the obvious issues with the way our state conducts its elections,” said Casey Black, a spokesperson for Perdue, in a statement to News 3.
Black did not respond when pressed on what the “obvious issues” are with Georgia’s election.
At a press conference Wednesday, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger responded to the president’s words.
“This is exactly the kind of language that’s at the base of the growing threat for election workers who are simply doing their job,” said Raffensperger.
Meanwhile, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said his office is investigating threats made against the secretary of state.
“We will continue to stand with local, state and federal officials to say violence of any kind has no place in Georgia,” he tweeted.
Loeffler and Perdue’s opponents — Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff — also released statements condemning violence.
“I again ask Senator Loeffler to join me in standing up for Georgia voters, our elections and to stop putting her own political interests ahead of Georgia,” said Warnock.
Locally, the Chatham County and Savannah police departments say they were unaware of any threats made against staff at the Chatham County Board of Elections. Elections Supervisor Russell Bridges says he is also not aware of any threats.
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