Gabriel Sterling, the Georgia voting system implementation manager who works under the state’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, said he had enough of the threats directed toward officials.
On Tuesday, Sterling said that officials working to count the ballots in Georgia have been receiving threats. The threats come as President Donald Trump continues making baseless allegations about the legitimacy of last month’s presidential election, which he lost to President-elect Joe Biden.
Georgia is in the process of completing a second recount of ballots there. After doing an initial canvass, the state conducted a hand recount of ballots. Sterling said that the hand recount should have alleviated any concern that machines altered the results of the election.
Trump and his legal team has continued to blame rigged voting machines on changing the result of the election. So far, Trump’s legal team has not been able to substantiate any fraud allegations in court, prompting one federal judge appointed by Trump to write in an opinion, “Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here,” 3rd Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas wrote. Bibas was appointed by Trump to the federal bench in 2017.
On Tuesday, Sterling took his turn to decry the conspiracy theories.
"I don't have all the best words to do this because I'm angry,” Sterling said. “The straw that broke the camel's back today is again this 20-year-old contractor for a voting system company, just trying to do his job, In fact, I talked to Dominion today and I said, 'He's one of the better ones they got.' His family is getting harassed now. There's a noose out there with his name on it. It's not right. I can't begin to explain the level of anger I have right now over this. And every American, every Georgian, Republican and Democrat alike should have that same level of anger.”
Sterling said that Trump has the right to contest the election in court, but added, “You need to step up and say this, is stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence. Someone's going to get hurt. Someone's going to get shot. Someone's going to get killed, and it's not right."
Sterling, who said that he and Raffensperger have been the target of violent threats, said that his wife has been receiving threats of sexual violence.
Trump’s campaign released a statement shortly thereafter condemning the threats.
On Wednesday, Sterling said that counties are on track to complete the recount on Thursday.
Sterling said that smaller, more rural counties are completing their recounts first, which he said could give the appearance that Trump is in the lead. But when larger counties return their recount figures, Sterling said he expects that Biden’s win in the state will be again confirmed.
Two weeks ago, a joint statement released by federal and state officials described the presidential election as the “most secure in American history.”
The letter was signed by leaders of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and the National Association of State Election Directors, among others. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency was established two years ago as a branch of Homeland Security during the Trump administration.
In bold, the authors of the statement wrote, “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” This statement matches those from secretaries of state and boards of election throughout the US.
In response to the letter, Trump fired US election security head Chris Krebs.