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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 John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation 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 says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays MORE. Sens. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerTrump set for precedent-breaking lame-duck period Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight House Democrat accuses Air Force of attempting to influence Georgia runoff races MORE (R) and David PerdueDavid PerdueTrump set for precedent-breaking lame-duck period Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight House Democrat accuses Air Force of attempting to influence Georgia runoff races 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 GrahamLet's give thanks to Republican defenders of Democracy Clyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight 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.