Georgia State Representative Vernon Jones, a Democrat who supports President Donald Trump, claimed on Friday that the media and pollsters “oppressed and depressed” voters during the 2020 election, despite the country’s record voter turnout.
Jones endorsed Trump in April and received significant backlash from his own party. About a week later, he said he would resign from his seat at Georgia State House. “Turn off the lights, I’ve left the plantation,” Jones, who is black, said at the time. But the next day the Democratic legislature revoked his decision.
“I hope the news media will learn from this. They were the ones who carried the false narrative of these false polls from these liberal universities. And you and these pollsters have done more to obstruct this election than Russia and China combined,” Jones said Friday at a press conference alongside Georgia Republicans and GOP chair Ronna McDaniel.
“You have oppressed and depressed the voters of this country, but I tell you we will fight. And last night I made a remark: we are not fighting with violence. I am not for violence, but we will fight for our constitutional rights until our last breath,” he said.
Washington Newsday asked Jones for another comment, but he did not respond immediately.
When Jones referred to a comment he made “last night,” he apparently referred to a threat to shoot Biden’s supporters: “We are now beginning to see the whites of their eyes and we are getting ready to start shooting,” he said at a press conference.
It is unclear why Jones would suspect that voters had been “oppressed. “The 2020 election marks the highest number of American voters who have ever cast their vote. Looking at the presidential race, both Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Trump have received more individual votes than former President Barack Obama in 2008. Obama previously held the record for the most votes a presidential candidate has received in the nation’s history.
The balance sheet calculated by Fox News at the time of writing this article shows that Biden received a total of almost 74 million votes, compared to just over 70 million votes cast for Trump, well over 140 million Americans voted in the 2020 election. In the 2008 election, when Obama was first elected, just over 130 million Americans voted.
As a percentage of the eligible voters, the 2008 turnout was about 61.6 percent. While ballots are still counted nationwide, a Washington Post projection predicts that the turnout this year will be north of 66 percent. The highest voter turnout to date was in the 1908 election, when about 65.7 percent of the eligible voters cast their votes. However, the total U.S. population that year was only about 88.7 million, and many voters, including women and many minorities, were still disenfranchised.
Jones, along with the Georgian Republicans, claimed on Friday that there had been irregularities and suspected electoral fraud in the election. His remarks followed after Georgia, which had elected Republican presidential candidates in every election since 1996, narrowly switched in favor of Biden in the further counting of votes. Biden’s lead over Trump has since grown, but remains small at just over 3,900 votes.
Although the allegations of election fraud appear to be unfounded, Georgian Foreign Minister Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said that there would be a recount in the southern state because of the narrow margin between the presidential candidates and those running for the state’s two U.S. Senate seats. Although Georgia does not automatically conduct recounts, a candidate may request a recount if the margin is less than 0.5 percent. Biden currently leads Trump with 0.1 percent, with almost all the ballots being counted.