'We're going to keep fighting': Pence tells Georgia voters presidential election not over

Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY

Vice President Mike Pence on Friday said the presidential election is still undecided as he urged Georgia Republicans to put aside shared “doubts” about how fairly that race was conducted and show up for the state’s Senate runoff elections.

“We're on ‘em this time,” Pence said. “We're watching. We're gonna secure our polls. We're gonna secure our drop boxes. So get an absentee ballot and vote and vote today.”

Pence has not gone as far as President Donald Trump in falsely claiming the presidential race was rigged.

But he continues to assert that the winner hasn't been determined.

“As our election contests continue, here in Georgia and in courts across the country, I’ll make you a promise,” Pence said at a rally for the Senate races. “We’re going to keep fighting until every legal vote is counted. We’re going to keep fighting until every illegal vote is thrown out.”

Vice President Mike Pence attends a rally in support of Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) on December 04, 2020 in Savannah, Georgia.
Vice President Mike Pence attends a rally in support of Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) on December 04, 2020 in Savannah, Georgia.

Trump has lost nearly every court challenge his campaign has made.

A second recount of Georgia’ results affirmed that President-elect Joe Biden won the state.

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Biden defeated Trump in Georgia by 11,779 votes, the latest recount found, a narrower margin than the 12,284-vote advantage Biden had going into the second recount. Figures, which were updated on the Georgia secretary of state’s website, are still unofficial.

The election was expected to be re-certified Friday by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and signed off by Gov. Brian Kemp.

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Trump, who is scheduled to attend a Saturday rally for the Senate candidates, has attacked Raffensperger and Kemp for signing off on the results of the first recount.

The Trump campaign had the right to request a second recount, which was conducted by rescanning all paper ballots, because the margin was within 0.5%. Raffensperger on Wednesday said the second recount would show “no substantial changes.”

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Pence said Georgians need to re-elect Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in the Jan. 5 election because a Republican-controlled Senate “could be” the party’s last line of defense against a Democrat-controlled House and White House.

Trump’s denouncement of absentee ballots could make it harder for Republicans to win those Senate races.

Pence, who encouraged voters to get absentee ballots, also mildly echoed Trump's attacks, saying, “I know we’ve all got our doubts about the last election.” And he implied there had been foul play by asserting that it wouldn’t happen again because Republicans are watching this time.

“Stay in the fight,” Pence said. “Stay in the fight for integrity in our elections.”

Before the campaign rally, Pence visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where Director Robert Redfield nodded to the upcoming change in administrations.

“I want to thank you for coming here to acknowledge the incredible men and women at CDC that work 24-7 and they will continue to guide our nation's response to the pandemic after we're gone,” Redfield said.

Contributing: Joey Garrison.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Georgia election: Mike Pence says presidential race still undecided