Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Written by Adam Rawnsley and Asawin Suebsaeng

THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION this year will come down to seven states — but there’s one that Donald Trump and his most committed lieutenants see as a blueprint for corrupting future local and national elections: Georgia.

The Peach State is unique — it’s the sole battleground state in which the Republican Party has total control over the levers of power: a trifecta in the state House, Senate, and governorship. Over the past four years, Trump-loving elements of the Georgia GOP have wielded that advantage in a crusade to convert discredited election-conspiracy theories into policies well ahead of Election Day 2024. It is an alarmingly anti-democratic experiment that Trumpland and much of the GOP hope to take national.

“Georgia is our laboratory,” a source close to the former president tells Rolling Stone. “If you can get this up and running in Georgia, you get a road map for other states, maybe the country as a whole.”

In 2020, top Georgia Republicans such as Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger managed to block Trump’s attempts to illegally overturn the election results. Kemp earned Trump’s fury by refusing to use what the then-president called “emergency powers” to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory. In an infamous January 2021 phone call that helped lead to Trump’s indictment in Fulton County, Raffensperger rebuffed the president’s demands to “find” him votes.

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