A little more than two weeks after four Georgia lawmakers called on Governor Brian Kemp and Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan to convene a special legislative session to address matters from the November 3 General Election, the two have released an official statement.
Governor Kemp and Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan issued the following joint statement Sunday evening:
“While we understand four members of the Georgia Senate are requesting the convening of a special session of the General Assembly, doing this in order to select a separate slate of presidential electors is not an option that is allowed under state or federal law.
“State law is clear: the legislature could only direct an alternative method for choosing presidential electors if the election was not able to be held on the date set by federal law. In the 1960s, the General Assembly decided that Georgia’s presidential electors will be determined by the winner of the state’s popular vote. Any attempt by the legislature to retroactively change that process for the November 3rd election would be unconstitutional and immediately enjoined by the courts, resulting in a long legal dispute and no short-term resolution.
“The judicial system remains the only viable – and quickest – option in disputing the results of the November 3rd election in Georgia.”
Sen. Greg Dolezal (R – Cumming), Sen. William Ligon (R – Brunswick), Sen. Brandon Beach (R – Alpharetta) and Sen. Burt Jones (R – Jackson) called for the special convention before the Thanksgiving holiday. While a number of state representatives have also called on state officials to act, Kemp and Duncan did not address them specifically. Under Georgia law, the General Assembly can convene on its own without a call by the Governor with 3/5th of the House body agreeing, but lawmakers do not currently have the votes.
By order of the Constitution, the General Assembly will convene for the regular legislative session on the second Monday in January in 2021.