Georgia’s top election official to quarantine after wife tests positive for COVID-19
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), whose state is preparing for a hand tally of the presidential race, will voluntarily isolate himself after his wife tested positive for coronavirus.
Tricia Raffensperger tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs told The Associated Press. The secretary, who is the state’s top election official, skipped an afternoon press conference to get tested and plans to self-quarantine as a precaution even if his test is negative.
If the test comes back positive, Fuchs told the AP that she and other members of Raffensperger’s staff who have been in close contact with him will get tested and quarantine.
News of his quarantine, first reported by ABC affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta, comes a day after Raffensperger held a press conference announcing he would oversee a hand tally of ballots in the general election between President-elect Joe Biden and President Trump.
Georgia must certify its election results by Nov. 20.
Trump and Georgia Republicans have promoted baseless allegations of voter fraud to explain Biden’s roughly 14,000-vote lead over Trump in the historically red state.
On Wednesday, Raffensperger said he would look into any claims of voter fraud but maintained that local officials performed their jobs well on Election Day.
“They and their staff are the ones that do the hard work on the ground of making sure that all legal votes will be counted,” Raffensperger said. “Their job is hard, they executed their responsibilities, and they did their job. These men and women, and my office, will continue to follow the law and count every legal vote.”
“My office will continue to investigate each and every instance of illegal voting, double voting, felon voting, people voting out of state,” he added. “We have all worked hard to bring fair and accurate counts to ensure that the will of the voters is reflected in the final count and that every voter will have confidence in the outcome whether their candidate won or lost.”
Raffensperger has faced fierce backlash from fellow Republicans after the election. Georgia Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who each face a runoff election on Jan. 5 against Democratic challengers, have called for his resignation and accused him of failing “to deliver honest and transparent elections.”