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Georgia elections chief says Trump 'suppressed' GOP vote, cost himself state

Georgia’s Republican secretary of state said Tuesday that President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE’s attacks on the integrity of mail-in voting contributed to his loss in the Peach State.

“Twenty-four thousand people did not vote in the fall; either they did not vote absentee because they were told by the president ‘don’t vote absentee, it’s not secure,’ ” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) said in an interview with WSB-TV, an Atlanta-area ABC affiliate. “But then they did not come out and vote in person. He would have won by 10,000 votes. He actually depressed, suppressed his own voting base."

Raffensperger has become a target of President Trump and his allies since the state was projected for President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot FireEye finds evidence Chinese hackers exploited Microsoft email app flaw since January Biden officials to travel to border amid influx of young migrants MORE. Sens. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerGeorgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks Kelly Loeffler's WNBA team sold after players' criticism MORE (R) and David PerdueDavid PerdueGeorgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks Please, President Trump: Drop your quest for revenge and help the GOP MORE (R), both of whom face a January runoff for their seats, called for his resignation following the election.

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Raffensperger said earlier this week that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamRon Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many Here's who Biden is now considering for budget chief House Democratic leaders back Shalanda Young for OMB after Tanden withdrawal MORE (R-S.C.) also personally pressured him to exclude some mail-in ballots during a mandatory recount. Graham has denied the claim and said “if he feels threatened by that conversation, he’s got a problem.”

Earlier Tuesday, Raffensperger announced the state had completed an audit of its voting machines and found no evidence of malfeasance. Trump has repeatedly promoted baseless conspiracy theories about Dominion Voting Systems, which is used in elections in the Peach State.

“We are glad but not surprised that the audit of the state’s voting machines was an unqualified success,” Raffensperger said in a statement.

Biden is the first Democrat to win the state since the 1990s.