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Photo: Paras Griffin via Getty

Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler (R) on Monday called on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, to resign over what they said was his failure to deliver "honest and transparent elections."

Why it matters: Raffensperger, who dismissed the senators' demand, and Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) have said there is no credible evidence of systemic voter fraud in the state. President Trump has made baseless and unfounded claims that Democrats stole this year's election from him through widespread voter fraud and mail-in ballots.

  • A recount of the presidential race in the state is likely.
  • Both Loeffler and Perdue’s races against their Democratic challengers are headed to a runoff that will determine which party controls the Senate.

What they’re saying: "The management of Georgia elections has become an embarrassment for our state. Georgians are outraged, and rightly so," Loeffler and Perdue said.

  • “We have been clear from the beginning: every legal vote cast should be counted. Any illegal vote must not. And there must be transparency and uniformity in the counting process. This isn’t hard. This isn’t partisan. This is American," they added.
  • "We believe when there are failures, they need to be called out — even when it’s in your own party. There have been too many failures in Georgia elections this year and the most recent election has shined a national light on the problems. While blame certainly lies elsewhere as well, the buck ultimately stops with the Secretary of State."
  • The senators did not provide any evidence or point to any specific incidents for their claims.

The other side: Raffensperger responded in a statement, saying, "Let me start by saying that is not going to happen. The voters of Georgia hired me, and the voters will be the one to fire me."

  • "I know emotions are running high. Politics are involved in everything right now. If I was Senator Perdue, I’d be irritated I was in a runoff. And both Senators and I are unhappy with the potential outcome for our President. But I am the duly elected Secretary of State. One of my duties involves helping to run elections for all Georgia voters. I have taken that oath, and I will execute that duty and follow Georgia law."
  • Raffensperger called Tuesday a “resounding success” from an election administration perspective, saying that the "process of reporting results has been orderly and followed the law."
  • He said in specific allegations of “illegal voting,” his office has sent staff to investigate.
  • Raffensperger called the lack of transparency allegation from the senators “laughable.”
  • He also said that while he believes there was “illegal voting,” it is unlikely that it will move the numbers or margin enough to change the outcome of the presidential election in Georgia.
  • “As a Republican, I am concerned about Republicans keeping the U.S. Senate. I recommend that Senators Loeffler and Perdue start focusing on that,” he concluded.

Go deeper: Trump allies brace for 30-day legal war

Go deeper

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

Updated 28 mins ago - Health

Texas to end all coronavirus restrictions

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaking at the White House in December 2020. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Texas will end its coronavirus restrictions next week with an upcoming executive order, Gov. Greg Abbot (R) announced Tuesday during a press conference in Lubbock.

Why it matters: After Abbott signs the new order, which rescinds previous orders, all businesses can open to 100% capacity and the statewide mask mandate will be over, though large parts of the state will remain under mask local ordinances.

Senate confirms Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as commerce secretary

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D). Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Senate voted 84-15 on Tuesday to confirm Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department.

Why it matters: The agency promotes U.S. industry, oversees the Census Bureau, plays a key role in the government's study of climate change through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and evaluates emerging technology through the National Institute of Standards and Technology.