Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the State Senate. I have received many calls, emails, and social media messages concerning this past election and with specific questions regarding the role the General Assembly plays in this process. While I have tried to get back to as many folks as possible, I know I have missed many of you all and I apologize that I have not been able to engage with everyone on an individual basis.
Recently, some of my colleagues started a petition for a special session of the General Assembly. I joined these colleagues along with the other members of the majority caucus in the State Senate to discuss this petition in detail and we have decided to go a different direction as a group and have listed seven specific action items we are undertaking to address the concerns we have heard. A copy of the official press release outlining this can be found here: https://mailchi.mp/03a84530fbcc/for-immediate-release.
As referenced in this statement, I was and remain opposed to any special session because we do not have the ability to do what we are being called upon to address. Georgia law is clear that the Governor shall certify the results of the election after the completion of the audit that was conducted in order to allow for any party to request a recount and to legally challenge the results in Court. When it comes to selecting the electors, Georgia law is also clear that the Governor must select the electors for the party that won the popular vote as certified. Any challenge to this process must be made in Court as the Judiciary is the only body that can prohibit the Governor from complying with this legal requirement. Governor Kemp has stated this consistently and is correct that he cannot do what is being demanded of him by some. The Governor has been consistently complying with the laws of the State of Georgia which he took an oath to follow.
Calling for a special session of the legislature could cost the taxpayers of Georgia hundreds of thousands of dollars and will result in no action since we do not have the ability or authority to change the election. If fraud is to be investigated and the election is to be challenged, it must happen in our Courts and multiple suits have already been filed to do just that. All of the evidence that has been cited concerning this past election will be properly presented in Court and I encourage everyone to follow this process instead of attempting to address every allegation made on social media.
Moreover, a special session will have no impact on the ongoing runoff for United States Senate. The General Assembly does not have the ability to change election law during the middle of the election. More importantly, the provisions of the law that are being cited concerning the ability to register to vote in this runoff and the absentee process is based on a federal court ruling, not Georgia law. Once again, if someone wants to challenge this, the only way to do so is to get a Court to address it.
As a State Senator, I have an obligation to be straight with the constituents that put me in office. While joining in an unsuccessful call for a special session may sound good politically, I would be misleading everyone by pretending that this will have any impact on this current and past election. The legal process must be followed not only because that is the right thing to do, but it is the only way to address the challenges that have been cited.
In 2023 the Georgia State Senate District 17 will encompass parts of Walton, Newton, Henry, and Morgan with over 150,000 registered voters. Brian Strickland entered his third full term in the Georgia Senate in 2021. Brian, his wife Lindsay, and their two children reside in McDonough, GA. Through Brian’s leadership position at the capitol where he fights for District 17, and all of Georgia, he has impacted Georgia for the better through various executed actions. Not only did Brian support the First Responder bill which aids police, firefighter, and EMS personnel but he was a key player in the passing of the Georgia Criminal Justice reform bills and Georgia Surprise Medical bills. Above and beyond that, Brian labored to bring funding to Southern Crescent Technical College making it one of the top technical schools in Georgia and is constantly raising the bar in the fight against human trafficking.