3 Republican state senators in Georgia demoted after pushing for election integrity
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ATLANTA, Georgia, January 20, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Three Republican state senators in Georgia have been demoted and stripped of their chairmanships after they were pushing for election integrity and criticizing the Republican secretary of state’s handling of the 2020 election.
“It doesn’t take long to connect the dots. There were a few of us fighting for election integrity. And it just so happens that the ones who were doing that no longer have their chairmanships,” said state Sen. Burt Jones.
Last week, Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) changed committee assignments for Republican state Sens. Brandon Beach, Matt Bass, and Jones. Beach will no longer chair the senate panel on transportation, while Jones lost his chairmanship of the Insurance and Labor Committee. Both were removed from the respective committees altogether.
Brass, meanwhile, remains a chairman, but was downgraded from his previous post as the head of the committee that will oversee the redrawing of Georgia’s counties this year.
“I won’t put myself in the penalty box and be silenced by what I think is right and what I think the people who voted me [in] here would want me to do,” Jones said, adding that he “can’t let petty politics get in the way of wanting to see a glaring problem with our elections remedied.”
“It will have to be remedied through the legislative process. We will keep trying to get that accomplished,” he said.
The state senator noted that one of his goals was to “call out” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who has faced blistering criticism from Republicans over his handling of the 2020 election.
In March, Raffensperger signed a consent agreement with the Democratic Party that purported to change statutory signature requirements for mail-in and absentee ballots.
After the presidential election in November, a group of eleven state senators, led by Beach, called for a special legislative session, in part to address concerns about the agreement before the senate run-offs in January. Their request was shot down by Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and Lt. Gov. Duncan.
“My constituents are concerned about that consent decree. It was signed off by the secretary of state and was not voted on by the General Assembly,” Beach said. “The problem with that agreement is that the poor man or woman that stands in line for two hours has to show their license, have their signature matched, [and then they] get their vote cast.”
“A person got their absentee ballot without ID and without signature matching. They feel like their vote was diluted because of this agreement by the secretary of state,” he said.
Sen. Brass and other Republican lawmakers also slammed the secretary at Georgia’s election fraud hearing in the state senate last month. “We have heard evidence that State law was not followed, time after time after time,” Brass said, in reference to the conduct of Raffensperger and other election officials.
Both Sens. Jones and Beach later backed the lawsuit brought by a coalition of seven Republican states that sued four battleground states over election issues. The suit named Georgia as a plaintiff, primarily citing Raffensperger’s rule changes.
The senators continued fighting to address issues from the presidential election into January, joining a petition to ask Vice President Mike Pence to delay Congress’s certification of the Electoral College results to give them additional time to investigate.
At least five state senators signed the letter, which Pence apparently never received, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Sen. Jones had met with the vice president the day before the certification of the election, though Pence refused to halt the certification.