ATLANTA — Georgia state Senate Republicans acknowledged in a release on Tuesday that there is "no avenue" toward a special session of the state legislature or overturning the state's election results.
The statement by the Georgia Senate Republican Caucus noted that the "state constitution precludes us from calling a special session due to the lack of a three-fifths majority in both chambers," and that, "even if we could secure the requisite numbers to convene, our laws provide no avenue for us to retroactively alter the results."
"As constitutionalists, we must respect that," the release said.
President Donald Trump and his most staunch advocates have repeatedly pressed for a special session of the Georgia General Assembly. The idea is that the legislature would re-write the state's election laws in order to pick Electoral College voters who would cast the state's votes for the president.
The Senate Republican Caucus pointed instead to a lawsuit that Texas has petitioned the Supreme Court to review as a "venue to move this matter even quicker than a special session."
Legal analyst Page Pate told 11Alive on Tuesday that lawsuit had "almost zero chance of succeeding."
Gov. Brian Kemp has said a special session to overturn the election results would be "unlawful and unconstitutional."
The Senate Republicans made a number of calls for measures that would change elections going forward, however, most drastically including an end to at-will absentee voting - in plainer terms, using an absentee ballot because you just want to.
"We will require photo identification for absentee voting for cause, and we will crack down on ballot harvesting by outlawing drop boxes," the Senate Republican Caucus said.
Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger has already proposed requiring photo ID for absentee requests, and required a driver's license or state ID number for online requests this year. Ballot harvesting is illegal in Georgia, and no significant allegation of the practice has come forward in any of the lawsuits presented against the state that it was one of the major concerns even among those who believe the election was illegitimate.
The Senate Republicans also requested counties "preserve all data from the November 3, 2020 General Election in order to conduct a forensic audit," and called for a signature audit of the envelopes in which absentee ballots were submitted.
There is no way to tie the signatures to actual ballots once they've been separated, because only the envelope has a signature. But the president's advocates have argued that an audit of just the envelopes would confirm their suspicions of widespread fraud.
Sec. Raffensperger said this week there has been "no evidence presented of any issues with the signature matching process."