Opinion | In Georgia, Can Elections Be Boring Again?

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Georgia begins early voting today in two runoffs that will decide the composition of the next U.S. Senate. If Democrats win both seats, the Senate will be split 50-50 (with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris acting as tiebreaker). If they don’t, it will be controlled by Republicans who stand ready to block many actions of a Biden presidency.

Brad Raffensperger is the man overseeing Georgia’s critical race. As secretary of state, his role is to ensure that the election is fair and — he hopes — drama-free. “My job is to have fair and honest elections, but also I’d love to have elections get back to being boring again,” says Mr. Raffensperger. He does not want “everything flamed up.”

That’s because Mr. Raffensperger is still dealing with the flames of last month’s presidential election. Donald Trump called the secretary of state “an enemy of the people” as he certified (and then recertified) Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia. And Mr. Raffensperger, a Republican, has faced pressure and threats from members of his own party.

In this episode of Sway, Kara Swisher presses the secretary of state on how he’s managing the backlash, why — if elections were free and fair — he and fellow Republicans continue to champion voting restrictions, and how wrong Mr. Raffensperger was to compare Donald Trump to Stacey Abrams.

A podcast about power, hosted by Kara Swisher (@karaswisher). Every Monday and Thursday, from New York Times Opinion. Listen and subscribe.

This episode of “Sway” was produced by Nayeema Raza, Christina Djossa, Heba Elorbany, Matt Kwong and Vishakha Darbha and edited by Paula Szuchman; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing by Erick Gomez. Special thanks to Renan Borelli, Liriel Higa and Kathy Tu.

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