GOP doesn't need election reform to win, Georgia's lieutenant governor says

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Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan on Sunday said he wants to expand voting, calling many voting reform proposals "solutions in search of a problem."

"Republicans don’t need election reform to win, we need leadership," he said on NBC’s "Meet the Press," disavowing former President Donald Trump’s attempts to undermine faith in elections.

"I think there’s millions of Republicans waking up around the country that are realizing that Donald Trump’s divisive tone and strategy is unwinnable in forward-looking elections," Duncan said.

Georgia’s state legislature has more than 80 election-related proposed bills this year, and Republicans in many states are pushing to tighten up restrictions on voting. Duncan pointed out that some of Georgia’s election bills were written by Democrats or are bipartisan efforts — "There are some good ideas that have been put in place by Democrats and Republicans," he said — but disagreed with some proposed changes, including an end to no-excuse absentee voting.

Former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams on Sunday called the efforts to tighten voting rules "racist."

"It is a redux of Jim Crow in a suit and tie," Abrams said on CNN’s "State of the Union." She added, "There’s a direct correlation between the usage of drop boxes, the usage of in-person early voting, especially on Sundays, and the use of vote by mail, and a direct increase in the number of people of color voting.”

Host Chuck Todd pointed out to Duncan that state legislatures’ attempts to restrict weekend voting seem to many to be an attempt to target African American voters.

"I’m very sensitive to that," Duncan said. "And I’m one of those Republicans that want more people to vote. I think our ideas help people."

Duncan acknowledged that his views on keeping voting accessible are a minority viewpoint in his party, saying that the misinformation surrounding the November election hurt Republicans’ credibility. But Duncan said he has been in "lockstep" with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on keeping no-excuse absentee ballots.

"I hope more people vote in Georgia’s next election than this previous one," Duncan said.

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