‘Such a farce’: Georgia’s NAACP president resigned from an election task force created by the Republican secretary of state

James Woodall, Brad Raffensperger
Georgia NAACP President, Rev. James Woodall, said Wednesday he was leaving the state's election task force.
  • Rev. James Woodall, the president of the Georgia chapter of the NAACP, on Wednesday said he was resigning from his position on a bipartisan election task force created by Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
  • Woodall told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he thought the task force, created in October, was a "farce" and an opportunity for Raffensperger to "play both sides." 
  • Raffensperger has refuted President Donald Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, eliciting anger from his Republican colleagues, but has drawn the ire of Democrats for attacks on Stacey Abrams and investigations into left-leaning organizations.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Rev. James Woodall, the president of the Georgia chapter of the NAACP, on Wednesday said he was resigning from his position on a bipartisan election task force created by Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, calling the operation a "farce." 

Woodall told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution  in an interview that, despite his participation in weekly meetings with other leaders from Georgia communities, he was frustrated because he felt no changes had resulted from the task force, created by Raffensperger in October to "solicit the task force members for innovative ideas to build on the nation leading ballot access options."

The task force includes both Democrats and Republicans.

"It's all for show," Woodall told the AJC in an interview, adding that Raffensperger was "trying to play both sides."

Woodall told the AJC that his resignation from the "Safe, Secure, and Accessible Elections Task Force" was sparked by comments Raffensperger made on Tuesday, criticizing a court's ruling to halt challenges to the eligibility of 4,000 Georgia voters ahead of the January 5 runoff elections, which will determine which party controls the US Senate.

"An Obama-appointed federal judge issued a ruling yesterday that undermined rule of law in Georgia," Raffensperger said in a statement that targeted the judge, Leslie Abrams Gardner, due to her being the sister of former Georiga state Rep. Stacey Abrams, who in 2018 unsuccessfully ran for Georgia governor and has since become a voting rights activist. 

"The latest attempt to disenfranchise eligible Georgia voters flies in the face of the integrity of safe, secure and accessible elections," Woodall said. "And that's why I can no longer participate in such a farce."

"He's trying to play tough and endorse voter suppression," he added in the interview published Wednesday. "You can't say that we need bipartisan election reform and then say we need to disenfranchise eligible Georgia voters to benefit the Republican Party."

Raffensperger, and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, also a Republican, have been the subject of numerous attacks by President Donald Trump over their refusal to participate in his unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election following his loss. President-elect Joe Biden flipped Georgia in what was one of his pivotal election night wins.

On Tuesday, Trump on Twitter repeated a debunked conspiracy that falsely accused Raffensperger of having a brother who "works for China." Raffensperger doesn't have a brother, according to NBC News reporter Ben Collins.

Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, the incumbents in the Georgia runoff races, have previously called for Raffensperger's resignation for what they claimed was "mismanagement and lack of transparency."

But as the AJC noted, Raffensperger has also drawn the ire of Democrats for his frequent attacks on Abrams and his investigations into left-leaning groups. 

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