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Newton congressman joins in call for hand-counting of Nov. 3 election ballots
Election coverage

One of Newton County’s two congressmen has joined in the Republican call for a hand recount of every ballot cast in the Nov. 3 General Election amid such claims as voter fraud and election officials not being transparent with GOP poll watchers. 

U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Greensboro, whose 10th Congressional District includes eastern Newton County, joined with Republican members and members-elect in the state’s Congressional delegation to ask Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to do a “manual hand recount” of the votes.

Hice signed on to a letter to Raffensperger from six Republican congressmen and two congressmen-elect calling for the hand-counting as proposed by Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, who is leading the Georgia recount effort for President Donald Trump’s campaign.

The letter stated, “As Members and Members-Elect of the Georgia Congressional Delegation, we are deeply concerned by continued, serious allegations of voting irregularities in our state. 

“The Georgia Republican Party and the Donald J. Trump for President Campaign have received reports of deceased or ineligible voters casting ballots, eligible voters being denied the opportunity to vote, and Republican poll watchers and observers being denied access to activities and meetings critical to ensuring a fair, accurate, and transparent vote tabulation,” the letter read.

“A fair election ensures all legal ballots are counted. We are united in asking you to ensure that such is the case and look forward to your prompt response.

“We need a fully transparent and honest count of LEGAL ballots!”

Democratic challenger Joe Biden led Trump by 14,000 votes out of almost 5 million cast in Georgia, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

Newton County certified its totals Monday, which included Biden receiving 55% of the county's vote.

Hice also wrote on his Twitter account that, “(Georgia Secretary of State) Brad Raffensberger MUST require a hand recount of every ballot in every GA county. There's been far too many reports of irregularities and fraud to trust any other method!

“Georgians will never see the outcome as legitimate without a transparent recount by hand! This isn't over until every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is thrown out!”

Hice said Democrats have never accepted President Donald Trump’s 2016 win “and sought to undermine him from day one.”

“The 70 million Americans who voted for (Trump) deserve a fair vote with an honest count!” Hice tweeted.

He also tweeted that any “irregularities” with the state’s voting machines manufactured by Dominion Voting Systems “need to be fully investigated” despite not citing any specific concerns about the election software.

The letter followed calls for Raffensperger’s resignation from Georgia Republican U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue because of allegations of lack of transparency and mismanagement of the election process this year.  

The Capitol Beat News Service reported the joint call from Perdue and Loeffler came shortly after the top elections manager in Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office dismissed a string of theories on ballot harvesting and computer glitches that Trump’s supporters floated recently to sow doubt in Georgia’s election results.

Raffensperger said the claims by Perdue and Loeffler were “laughable” and predicted any illegal votes found in the coming weeks would not sway the results.

“As a Republican, I am concerned about Republicans keeping the U.S. Senate,” Raffensperger said. “I recommend that Senators Loeffler and Perdue state focusing on that.”

State officials have until Nov. 20 to certify the election results and a recount is also likely, the news bureau reported. 

On Monday, Raffensperger, Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and voting implementation manager Gabe Sterling said they have not seen any voting irregularities in Georgia’s election process, the news bureau reported.

The Associated Press reported that all disputes over the counts in each state must be complete by Dec. 8. 

Members of the Electoral College vote on Dec. 14. The U.S. House and Senate hold a joint session on Jan. 6, 2021, to count the electoral votes in each state, the AP reported.

Jody Hice
Jody Hice, a Republican from Greensboro, represents Georgia's 10th District in Congress, including eastern Newton County.