Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), a third-term Republican Congressman who won each of his terms with around 63 percent of the vote, is running for Georgia’s Secretary of State. Why did he give up almost certain reelection and pursue a new office? Hice told The Epoch Times that he wants to protect the voice of the people at the ballot box.
“Our country is based upon the consent of the governed, and when the voice of the people is violated or compromised at the ballot box, that is a sacred area that must be protected at all cost,” Hice said.
Hice said it was the failure of Brad Raffensperger, the current Secretary of State, during the 2020 election that has driven him to run for the top election official in Georgia.
“Looking back at the last election, I think there are many reasons for people to have questions as to whether or not we had a legitimate election in terms of an authentic voice of the people being represented, and I think we need to investigate those allegations,” Hice said.
“Brad Raffensperger is not protecting our elections. In fact, he tried to obstruct and stand in the way of the citizens trying to investigate and make sure that our elections are being done properly.”
Raffensperger hasn’t responded to a request from The Epoch Times for comment.
On Jan. 6, 2021, Raffensperger sent an open letter (pdf) to Hice and other lawmakers, saying that he ordered a hand audit, a recount, a signature audit in Cobb County after the election, rebutting claims that the election results were problematic.
Raffensperger told CBS on Jan. 9 that Hice is “double-minded” since he certified his own election with the same machines and same ballots but claimed Trump’s election was stolen.
“It’s nonsense for him to say that I’m somehow a hypocrite for that,” Hice responded, saying from the beginning he welcomed an audit in his own district, Georgia’s 10th congressional district. “In fact, I’ve called for an audit and an investigation of every county in the state … In Georgia 10, the election results were the same as they have been ever since I’ve been in Congress, right around 63 percent. That is what this district is.”
“The question is we need an investigation in the entire state to make sure that our elections are properly done and that it is a true reflection of the voice of the people.”
Hice vowed to renew election integrity if elected.
“We’ve got to restore election integrity and confidence with the voters that their votes count, that we have one legal ballot cast and one legal ballot counted for everyone who wants to vote,” Hice said.
“We’ve got to abide by the law. We’ve got to hold people accountable who break our election laws. We’ve got to have a secretary of state to stand up against the Biden administration and the Democrats’ attempt to take over state election laws,” Hice continued.
Hice praised the General Assembly for passing SB 202, an election bill later signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp on March 31, 2021.
The law, titled the Election Integrity Act of 2021, has been controversial since enacted. President Joe Biden called the law “un-American” and described it as a “blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience.” Democrats and the left claimed the law would give Republicans an advantage in elections and suppress certain voters.
Kemp and some state GOP lawmakers defended the law, but some Republicans think the law is not doing enough. Former President Donald Trump called the law “too weak.”
“It’s not the end of the game to secure election integrity,” Hice said, adding a lot needs to be done with the new voting law, such as drop boxes, private money, and other issues. But “it’s a great step in the right direction.”
According to Ballotpedia, 27 secretary of state seats will be up for election in 2022. Republicans, after a frustrating 2020 election, have shown an unprecedented passion for the midterms. Trump endorsed Hice for secretary of state in March 2021. Democrats call the GOP’s efforts an “anti-democratic movement.” Michigan’s Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson called this “the most important issue of our time.”
“The Democrats always blame others for the very thing they themselves are guilty of. If there is any attack on our democracy, as it relates to election integrity, it is the Democrats’ attempt right now to take over elections on the federal level,” Hice said, referring to the Democrats’ recent failed effort to push through the election reform bill in the Senate.
“The Constitution is clear that states have the responsibility for the time, place, and manner of elections, not the federal government.”
Hice called on the voters to support him to secure election integrity.
“The most important message that I have for voters is that their voice matters. Their voice counts, should count,” Hice said. “We need a secretary of state who will, at all costs, defend the voice of the people at the election box, and I just covet their support and their prayers and ultimately their vote to replace Brad Raffensperger and to secure the voice of the people at the ballot box.”