With the state of Georgia still roiled by President Donald Trump’s onslaught of unhinged and unfounded allegations about the Nov. 3 election, which has inspired his supporters to harass and threaten those involved in the process, a top-ranking Georgia election official gave an emotional press conference Tuesday afternoon to say, quite simply, enough is enough. “At the beginning of this, I’m going to do my best to keep it together,” Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system implementation manager and a Republican himself said. “Because it has all gone too far. All of it.” Sterling took to the lectern to call for some sense of sanity from the president and his supporters while also calling out national Republicans for not doing more to refute Trump’s conspiratorial claims that have led to threats that, Sterling said, are going to get someone hurt or worse. “It has to stop,” Sterling said, his voice quivering with emotion at points.
“Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language,” Sterling said. “Senators, you have not condemned this language or these actions. This has to stop. We need you to step up. And if you take a position of leadership, show some.” That seems unlikely from the president, since it is Trump himself who is leading the charge in the depths of conspiracy. The impact on the individuals involved in the Georgia electoral process, Sterling said, has been significant. Sterling said that hourly workers involved in the count were now on the receiving end of wild conspiracy theories and facing death threats—Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s private residence has been bombarded by Trump supporter caravans and his wife flooded with sexualized threats.
“I’ve got police protection outside my house. Fine. You know, I took a higher profile job. I get it, the Secretary ran for office, his wife knew that too. This kid took a job. He just took a job, and it’s just wrong,” he said of a young election worker facing threats. “Someone’s going to get hurt, someone’s going to get shot, someone’s going to get killed. … It’s not right.”
Support Slate’s politics coverage
Slate is covering the stories that matter to you. Join Slate Plus to support our work. You’ll get unlimited articles and a suite of great benefits.