Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has begun to self-quarantine as a COVID-19 precaution after his wife contracted the virus — removing himself from in-person supervision of a hand recount of presidential ballots.
Raffensperger, 65, frustrated fellow Republicans this week by dismissing claims that fraud may have given Democrat Joe Biden a narrow lead over President Trump. He said that in reality, “we have not heard of any widespread voter fraud” and there were only “isolated incidents.”
Biden leads Trump by 14,072 votes in Georgia’s unofficial results, and Raffensperger announced a manual recount Wednesday. A Democratic presidential candidate last won the state in 1992.
Trump has not conceded the election to Biden, and his campaign claims he can win a second term through legal challenges and recounts in key swing states including Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania.
Georgia’s Republican US senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, demanded Raffensperger’s resignation Monday for what they said was election mismanagement. Both Loeffler and Perdue face runoff elections Jan. 5 against Democrats after failing to cross the 50 percent threshold in the Nov. 3 election.
“They haven’t provided me anything,” he fired back in a CNN interview Wednesday.
Atlanta television station WSB-TV first reported that his wife, Tricia Raffensperger, tested positive for the virus after recently traveling, and that Raffensperger and members of his staff are awaiting the results of their own tests.
“The secretary is in quarantine. He has been tested for COVID and we don’t know those results yet,” a spokesperson confirmed to The Post.
“His wife has tested positive and the office is working with HR to see how to best move forward with the staff,” the spokesperson said, adding that they could not immediately comment on how this would impact the recount.