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Rep. Jody Hice campaigns for "election integrity" during Athens visit

220222 Hice Fly Over
Sofia Gratas
/
State representative Jody Hice speaks at an event on Feb. 22, 2022 at Athens Ben-Epps Airport.

Athens Ben-Epps Airport marked Hice’s first stop on his “Fly Over for Election Integrity” tour. Hice made his remarks against a backdrop of signs touting his endorsement from former President Trump.

“Unfortunately, we have millions of people right here in this state who feel as though their votes don't count any longer, because the election process has been so turned on its head," Hice said. "We've got to restore election integrity, we have got to restore confidence among the voters of this state that their votes actually count when they go to the ballot box.”

As part of his campaign strategy for Secretary of State, Hice is doubling down on claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. That includes criticism of incumbent Brad Raffensberger, who refused to overturn the 2020 election results in favor of Trump last January. Hice is one of several Trump-backed candidates for Secretary of State across the country running on claims of election fraud. Hice again.

“The false the big lie is that this this election was not fraught with problems," Hice said. "It had major problems and we need we need leadership that's going to address those issues.”

During his remarks on Tuesday, Hice spoke on the importance of voter identification and condemned “ballot harvesting” and HR1, a law introduced last March that would’ve created federal election standards and expanded voter registration and access. HR1 passed the House and is awaiting a vote in the U.S. Senate.

“We are in the fight of our life for this nation," Hice said. "We're in the fight of our life right here in our own state, and we can't lose this battle.”

There have been hundreds of investigations overseen by Raffensberger’s office into allegations about the handling of the 2020 election by county election offices. State officials also ordered ballot recounts and audits. None of those investigations have proven widespread fraud, but last week, Raffensberger announced his support of hiring an independent unit to investigate inquiries about state elections. It’s a move backed by Governor Brian Kemp that overlaps the Secretary of State’s existing work.

Meanwhile, a special grand jury investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia is expected to start work in May. The request for the jury comes from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

Georgia voters will head to the polls for the primary election on May 24.