We are just days away from the Electoral College casting their votes and certifying Joe Biden as the next President of the United States, but that hasn’t stopped Donald Trump and his cronies from continuing their desperate and increasingly farcical campaign to somehow overturn the results.
Gambling on the assumption that the Republican officials in Georgia would be the easiest of the swing states to bully into doing his will, Trump has focused his narrative on imaginary allegations of election fraud and repeatedly yelling at Governor Brian Kemp to do something — anything — to help him swindle his way into a second term.
On Saturday morning, Trump claimed that he will “easily and quickly” win Georgia if Kemp or his Secretary of State allow “signature verification” to reveal the “large scale discrepancies” and then the rest will just fall “into place.”
I will easily & quickly win Georgia if Governor @BrianKempGA or the Secretary of State permit a simple signature verification. Has not been done and will show large scale discrepancies. Why are these two “Republicans” saying no? If we win Georgia, everything else falls in place!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 5, 2020
Trump and his allies have seized on the idea of a “signature verification” for absentee ballots, which they apparently hope will open the door for Republican officials to throw out enough votes to erase Biden’s lead over him, which is in the tens of thousands of votes.
Unfortunately for Trump, there’s no way it happens. While Kemp himself claimed that it would be “easy” to do — probably just to mollify the colicky president — the reality is that the signatures have already been checked and there is no legal basis for another verification, which election officials pointed out in a Monday press conference.
“…The ballots, at this point, now become the custody of superior court judges and clerks, so I believe that is a little out of our situation on this to then say we are going to go with no specific evidence or explanation to go in and start pulling random ballots out to ‘look at.’ Who pays for this? What’s the protocols around this?” asked an angry Gabriel Sterling.
CNN’s fact-checkers note that “It’s also misleading to suggest that doing so might somehow uncover the kind of fraud Trump is alleging especially since signature matching was already done — twice, in many cases. And even if a signature on an envelope was flagged during an audit, it would be impossible to trace it to a specific ballot in order to remove their vote accordingly.”
It’s hard to tell at this point if the president himself takes this seriously or is just going through the motions to give his fans a show — but what we do know is that the damage he’s doing to the integrity of our elections cannot be undone. We will never have another election in the United States that isn’t contested by the losing Republican, no matter how baseless the allegations are.