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Bipartisan Georgia leaders banding together to boost trust in elections

A bipartisan group of former elected leaders are joining forces to fight election lies that erode public confidence in the nation's electoral system.

The Democracy Defense Project, launched Tuesday, is led by former Govs. Nathan Deal and Roy Barnes, former U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.

'For far too long, politicians, pundits, and activists have worked overtime to sow distrust in America's electoral process,' said Deal, a Republican. 'We refuse to sit on the sidelines while the bedrock of this great nation is eroded away by misinformation and dangerous political agendas. Our goal is to restore confidence in the electoral process that makes this country exceptional.'

'Trust in the electoral system and commitment to a peaceful transition of power are vital to the future success of our republic,' added Barnes, a Democrat. 'While it may be politically advantageous to undermine America's core values, it's a harmful damaging game with lasting consequences.'

Georgia is ground zero for election lies. A Fulton County grand jury indicted former President Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants last summer on charges of participating in a conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.

Trump continues to claim that he carried Georgia four years ago when, in reality, Democrat Joe Biden received more votes and, thus, won the Peach State's 16 electoral votes. The Democracy Defense Project is being launched in the same week that Trump and Biden will appear at CNN's Atlanta studios for the first of two scheduled debates ahead of the 2024 election.

The Georgia effort is part of a national push for election integrity focusing on battleground states where challenges to the November election results may arise. The organization will use earned and paid media to raise awareness of efforts to subvert elections across the country.

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