Georgia official says Giuliani's lies about 'fraud' led to new voter suppression law


Georgia Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan told CNN that Rudy Giuliani's 'misinformation' campaign led to the voter suppression law in the Peach State.

Georgia Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan is once again criticizing his own party for the voter suppression law in his state, saying the new measures that seek to make it harder to vote are the product of voter fraud lies from both Donald Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

"This is really the fallout from the 10 weeks of misinformation that flew in from former President Donald Trump," Duncan told CNN on Wednesday. "I went back over the weekend to really look at where this really started to gain momentum in the legislature, and it was when Rudy Giuliani showed up in a couple of committee rooms and spent hours spreading misinformation and sowing doubt across, you know, hours of testimony."

Giuliani, who took the lead on the Trump campaign's now-failed effort to steal the 2020 election through the courts, traveled across the country holding sham hearings about voter fraud following Trump's loss to President Joe Biden.

He held a number of the sham hearings in hotel ballrooms because they were not officially sanctioned by state legislatures, inviting with him a bizarre cast of characters who lied about undocumented immigrants voting in the election and voting machines switching votes, alongside a host of other baseless claims.

Giuliani held one of his sham hearings in Georgia in early December, ahead of the certification of Biden's victory in the state.

GPB News, a local PBS and NPR affiliate in Georgia, wrote at the time that the hearing featured "a series of fantastical claims and statements from various and sundry people touted as experts."

Among the false claims Giuliani, as well as Trump, made at the Georgia hearing were that thousands of dead people voted and that voting machines changed people's votes — claims that have been thoroughly debunked, including by a joint report from the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security.

Giuliani is now facing multiple billion-dollar lawsuits over his false election claims.

Yet GOP lawmakers across the country are still using the lies Giuliani and Trump told to justify the hundreds of voter suppression bills that are moving through state legislatures.

Georgia was one of the first states to pass a voter suppression law. Their's limits the use of ballot drop boxes, makes it harder to vote by requiring ID to vote absentee, makes it a crime to hand out food and drinks to voters waiting in line, and gives the GOP-controlled state Legislature more power over elections. It's led to fears that Republicans in the Legislature will use the new law to interfere to overturn election results they do not like.

"But some of the punitive, you know, responses to taking [Georgia Secretary of State Brad] Raffensperger off that elections board was just trying to tip their hat to Donald Trump, and I just didn't think that was a necessary step," Duncan said, referring to the law's removal of the secretary of state as chair of the State Board of Elections.

Duncan has been one of few Republican voices to criticize his party for their voter suppression efforts.

Back in March, Duncan said Republicans were making it harder to vote rather than changing their political message to appeal to more voters.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.