Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) suggested voter suppression exists in Georgia during his U.S. Senate victory speech Tuesday night, despite the state seeing record-breaking midterm turnout.
Warnock spoke about the alleged voter suppression just after he narrowly defeated Republican Herschel Walker in the state’s competitive Senate runoff battle.
“There are those who would look at the outcome of this race and say that there’s no voter suppression in Georgia,” Warnock began.
He proceeded to suggest long lines, “the rain and the cold,” and “all kinds of tricks” were indications of voter suppression that people had merely overcome:
Let me be clear. Just because people endured long lines that wrapped around buildings, some blocks long, just because they endured the rain and the cold and all kinds of tricks in order to vote doesn’t mean that voter suppression does not exist. It simply means that you the people have decided that your voices will not be silenced.
Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA): “Just because people endured long lines … the rain, and the cold, and all kinds of tricks in order to vote doesn’t mean that voter suppression does not exist. It simply means that you, the people, have decided that your voices will not be silenced.” pic.twitter.com/O0AlgsG7pJ
— The Recount (@therecount) December 7, 2022
Warnock added in subsequent comments not shown in the above clip that the runoff was a “vestige of the ugly side of our complicated American story” and noted that “state officials said that we couldn’t vote on Saturdays, but we sued them and we won.”
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) initially planned to prohibit counties from holding early in-person voting on Saturday, November 26, because of a 2016 state law that does not permit Saturday voting immediately after a holiday.
The state Democrat Party, the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), and Warnock responded by filing a lawsuit arguing the law was only applicable to a primary or general election and not to a runoff. A Fulton County judge ruled in Democrats’ favor, and the Georgia Supreme Court upheld that ruling following an appeal from the state Republican Party, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), and the Republican National Committee (RNC).
Counties were therefore able to offer early in-person voting on Saturday, November 26, and 27 of the state’s 159 counties ended up choosing to do so, including both solid red and solid blue counties. A handful of counties also offered early in-person voting on Sunday, November 27, ahead of the state-mandated five weekdays of early in-person voting.
All told, 3.5 million people voted in the runoff election, including 1.9 million early voters.
Raffensperger released numerous statistics highlighting election milestones in a statement Wednesday, including that the midterm general election had the highest turnout of any midterm election in state history and that more voters showed up to the polls on the runoff Election Day than they had on Election Day in 2020, runoff Election Day in 2021, and Election Day in 2022.
“Georgia’s election system has been challenged and scrutinized and criticized and passed every test,” Raffensperger stated.
The runoff period was also condensed from a grueling nine weeks into a four-week period this year as part of Georgia’s Election Integrity Act of 2021.
The shorter period, which was also in place prior to 2013, was reinstated after “the lengthy nine-week runoffs in 2020 were exhausting for candidates, donors, and 120 electors,” per the bill.
The shortened timeframe contributed to some reports of long lines on early in-person voting days in the runoff; however, lines on the runoff Election Day were moving “quickly” and “smoothly,” according to reports shared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s live Election Day updates.
The Warnock campaign did not respond to a request for comment from Breitbart News on the senator’s voter suppression remarks.