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Jody Hice tried to overturn the 2020 election. Now he wants to be in charge of Georgia’s elections.

Hice wants to bring Trump’s brand of anti-democracy to Georgia’s elections.

Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) participates in the Freedom Caucus press conference on immigration outside the Capitol on March 17.
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images
Ian Millhiser is a senior correspondent at Vox, where he focuses on the Supreme Court, the Constitution, and the decline of liberal democracy in the United States. He received a JD from Duke University and is the author of two books on the Supreme Court.

On January 6, hours after a mob loyal to outgoing President Donald Trump attacked the United States Capitol in a vain attempt to overthrow President Joe Biden’s victory over Trump, Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) made his own attempt to overturn that election. Hice was one of several US House members who objected to certifying Biden’s victory in Hice’s home state of Georgia.

It wasn’t the first time Hice tried to install the loser of the 2020 election in the White House. In December, Hice was one of 126 Republican members of Congress who unsuccessfully urged the Supreme Court to stop several key states from certifying Biden’s victory.

Now, however, Hice wants to become Georgia’s top elections official — a position that could potentially empower him to skew future elections in favor of Republicans. He announced on Monday that he will run to be Georgia’s next secretary of state.

“Free and fair elections are the foundations of our country,” Hice said in a statement he released less than three months after he attempted to toss out the result of a free and fair election in his home state of Georgia. Hice also promised to “aggressively” pursue “those who commit voter fraud.”

Although Trump spent much of 2020 spreading false fears of voter fraud, actual fraud is exceedingly rare. An examination of 100 million ballots cast in the state of Oregon found only about a dozen cases of fraud. After the 2016 election, North Carolina’s State Board of Elections conducted an audit to determine how often voters committed fraud at the polls. It found only one potentially fraudulent vote out of 4,769,640 ballots cast in that election. Similar studies in Iowa and Wisconsin found similar results in other elections.

Yet while numerous studies and audits, some of them conducted by high-ranking Republican officials, found that voter fraud is a virtual non-issue, false fears of such fraud are often used to justify making it harder to vote. Georgia Republicans are currently pushing several new restrictions on voting, with many proponents of this legislation claiming it is necessary to combat fraud.

If Hice had been Georgia’s secretary of state in 2020, he could have triggered a crisis. Days before the January 6 putsch at the Capitol, Trump called incumbent Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and urged him to “find 11,780 votes” for Trump — Biden won Georgia by 11,779 votes.

But Raffensperger refused, and a recording of that call was leaked to the Washington Post. An Atlanta prosecutor is currently investigating “attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 Georgia General Election,” and Trump could eventually face criminal charges.

Hice’s statement announcing his bid to take Raffensperger’s job makes it clear that Hice views Raffensperger’s decision to honor the results of the 2020 election as unacceptable. “What Brad Raffensperger did was create cracks in the integrity of our elections,” Hice claims.

Trump endorsed Hice shortly after the congressman announced his candidacy.

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