ATLANTA — Georgia US Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R - 11th, Woodstock) said in a statement on Thursday that he plans to join the other Republicans who have indicated that they plan to oppose the official count of the Electoral College when it is presented before a joint session of Congress next Wednesday.
"Since the November 3rd election, I have received numerous reports of election irregularities, mismanagement of the election system, and multiple incidents of voter fraud," Loudermilk's statement said, in part. "Two weeks before the election, I received credible information that a Georgia-based non-profit group was actively calling residents of other states and encouraging them to register as Georgia voters. I reported this information, and the contact for my source, to the Georgia Secretary of State. Two weeks after the election, I found out that the informant had never been contacted by the Secretary of State’s office."
According to Jordan Fuchs of the Georgia Secretary of State's office, the congressman's assistance that the secretary's office had not made contact is false.
In an email, Fuchs told 11Alive News that the Secretary of State's office contacted Loudermilk's informant within 24 hours after they were notified by the congressman.
Loudermilk's claims come despite three separate audits, including a just-completed signature audit of absentee ballots in Cobb County.
The 11th Congressional District that Loudermilk represents includes a large portion of Cobb County.
According to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the signature audit, which was conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, found no evidence of voter fraud.
Raffensperger called the finding a "third strike" against voter fraud claims in Georgia.
"I have received hundreds of testimonies, affidavits, and witness accounts of voting irregularities, lack of ballot accountability, and violations of state election law. While I am fully supportive of Governor Brian Kemp and how he is leading Georgia during these trying times, I do not believe the Governor’s office, nor the Secretary of State, have adequately answered the most significant claims of voter fraud and election mismanagement made by several individuals and entities," Loudermilk said. "After weeks of researching Georgia’s handling of the 2020 General Election, I have a reasonable and significant doubt that the electors selected to represent Georgia in the electoral college actually reflect the true will of the people of Georgia."
Loudermilk says that as a result, he plans to object to Georgia's electors when they are presented before Congress on Wednesday.
Other Republican House members, led by Louis Gohmert of Texas have said they also plan to present objections to the list of electors next week.
What happens if there is an official objection of a state's Electoral College votes during the joint session of Congress?
By law, an official objection must be made in writing and signed by at least one Senator and one House member.
Once an official objection is raised, the two bodies would have to adjourn to debate the matter separately.
Under the same law, the debate would be limited to two hours, though each body may agree to adjust the time limit.
After the debate, the joint session would reconvene to either accept or reject the Electoral College votes from the state in question.
In 2005, Democrats objected to Ohio's Electoral College votes, but that objection was dismissed by both the House and Senate.
That is the only time in the past that this process has been tested.
If Rep. Loudermilk actually raises the question next week, and finds common ground with Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley -- who announced this week that he would also object to votes from the Electoral College, there would still need to be a necessary vote from both the House and the Senate.
Even if the currently-Republican controlled Senate were to uphold the objection, the House, which remains firmly under Democratic control, would almost certainly reject it.