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Georgia Official: Unable to Exclude Trump from Ballot

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger rebuked the use of the 14th Amendment to keep former President Donald Trump off state ballots, calling it “the newest way of attempting to short-circuit the ballot box.”

“Anyone who believes in democracy must let the voters decide,” Raffensperger wrote in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

It could be considered ironic for that message to be coming from Raffensperger, a Republican who was on the other end of the January 2021 phone call from then-President Trump to “find 11,780 votes.” It’s that phone call, in part, that has Trump under indictment in Fulton County. 

But it’s the law Raffensperger says he’s following now, just as he was more than 2½ years ago.

“Georgia law contemplates a legal process that must take place before anyone is removed from the ballot,” Raffensperger wrote. “But activists are urging secretaries of state like me to bar Mr. Trump from the ballot unilaterally. Invoking the 14th Amendment is merely the newest way of attempting to short-circuit the ballot box.”

Raffensperger cited Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’ attempt in 2018 and Trump’s in 2020 to sue for a change of result in the elections they lost — “It doesn’t work,” he wrote.

And neither would invoking the 14th Amendment, he wrote.

“For a secretary of state to remove a candidate would only reinforce the grievances of those who see the system as rigged and corrupt. Denying voters the opportunity to choose is fundamentally un-American,” Raffensperger wrote.

“Since our founding, Americans have believed that a government is just when it has earned the consent of the governed. Taking away the ability to choose — or object to — the eligibility of candidates eliminates that consent for slightly less than half of the country.”

Mark Swanson

Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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