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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 TrumpNorth Carolina Senate passes trio of election measures 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Border state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos 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 BidenJapan to possibly ease COVID-19 restrictions before Olympics 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday China supplies millions of vaccine doses to developing nations in Asia MORE. Sens. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Herschel Walker skips Georgia's GOP convention Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock MORE (R) and David PerdueDavid PerdueLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock Georgia Republican secretary of state hits Loeffler as 'weak,' 'fake Trumper' 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 GrahamOn The Money: Yellen, Powell brush off inflation fears | Fed keeps rates steady, upgrades growth projections Democrats shift tone on unemployment benefits Bipartisan infrastructure group grows to 20 senators 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.