GA SoS Raffensperger: Only Ballot Images Should Be Audited

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  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

Last November's election in Georgia was plagued with numerous concerns over election integrity, many of which are still being examined. With Gov. Kemp's recent signing of the 'Election Integrity Act of 2021,' it seems logical to assume the state is implementing procedures to address and correct election fraud when and where it occurred. However, that doesn't seem to be the case in Fulton County, GA, where, on Apr. 2, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger sent a request to the courts in an ongoing civil action, petitioning that ballot images taken from the voting machines be the only source of evidence used in an upcoming audit in the county. 

Raffensperger's amicus brief is tied to a petition filed on Dec. 20, 2020, in the Superior Court of Fulton County, GA. Petitioner Garland Favorito (a spokesperson for VOTER GA), who served as a Fulton County tabulation observer in the Nov. 3 election, asked for relief after being ignored by Georgia Election Officials regarding his reports of election fraud.

While serving during the election, Favorito detected an abnormal vote increase for Joe Biden's vote tabulation and an apparent abnormal reduction in Donald J. Trump's vote tabulation. He immediately notified the Fulton County Director of the Elections, the Fulton County Elections Board, and the Fulton County attorney. He also made an Open Records Request for the interim upload requests. They all ignored him. 

Finally, after much resistance from Fulton County Officials, on Mar. 15, Henry County Judge Brian Amero conditionally granted VOTER GA members the right to unseal and inspect ballots from the 2020 election for evidence of voter fraud. Gearing up for the audit, ballot paper expert Jovan Pulitzer began requesting volunteers to help. Of Judge Amero's decision, Favorito noted it "is almost unprecedented in Georgia history," adding: 

"We have sworn affidavits from several poll managers who say they handled counterfeit ballots during the hand count audit because those were mail-in ballots that were not marked with a writing instrument like a mail-in ballot should be. And they appeared to be on suspicious paper stock."

Adding credibility to claims of fraud, an official Dec. 3 report from the Georgia Study Subcommittee of the Standing Senate Judiciary Committee, titled "The Chairman's Report on Election Law," chaired by Honorable William T. Ligon, examined the November 3, 2020, General Election in its entirely, noting, it "was chaotic and any reported results must be viewed as untrustworthy." The report continues:

The Subcommittee took evidence from witnesses and received affidavits sworn under oath. The Subcommittee heard evidence that proper protocols were not used to ensure chain of custody of the ballots throughout the Election, after the opening of ballots prior to the Election, and during the recounts. The Subcommittee heard testimony that it was possible or even likely that large numbers of fraudulent ballots were introduced into the pool of ballots that were counted as voted; there is no way of tracing the ballots after they have been separated from the point of origin. The Subcommittee heard testimony of pristine ballots whose origin looked suspicious or which could not be verified and the inability of poll workers to distinguish between test ballots and absentee ballots. Signatures were not consistently verified according to law in the absentee balloting process. 

The report found SoS Brad Raffensperger's office was unresponsive to its hotline, noting that the office has been unresponsive to many who wonder if their vote ever really counted, declaring, "The office has turned a blind eye to fraud to the point that it ought to be considered gross negligence."

Stating the Subcommittee did not have time to investigate the numerous publicly reported issues with the Dominion voting machines, the report took notice of the numerous publicly reported functions of the machines and heard evidence that they can duplicate fraudulent ballots to the point that not even trained personnel can tell the difference between a test ballot and a real ballot. The report declared:

Testimony also suggested that the system responds wirelessly to being reset from an unknown location as happened with the poll books. The Subcommittee also heard that Dominion machines can be programmed with algorithms that reallocate votes between candidates. In addition, the Dominion machines are programmed to count votes using percentages of whole numbers rather than actual votes, which is a feature incompatible with the actual voting process. The Subcommittee learned that the history and control of the company that owns the Dominion voting system is unclear and provides serious implications of foreign interference in the U.S. election.

With well-documented election fraud concerns from citizens and lawmakers across the state of Georgia and especially in Fulton County, it is difficult to understand why SoS Raffensperger would "quietly" file an amicus brief pleading against full transparency when investigating last November's Election. His petition reads:

While the Secretary takes no position on the merits of Petitioners’ underlying case, he requests permission to submit the attached amicus brief to advise the Court regarding the requirements under the Georgia Elections Code for maintaining the confidentiality and security of ballots; and recent updates to the Georgia Open Records Act that allows for the public disclosure for ballot images only (not ballots). The Secretary respectfully requests that the Court permit Petitioners to inspect ballot images only and deny Petitioners’ request to inspect and scan ballots. This result is consistent with Georgia law and appropriately balances Petitioners’ interests in inspecting ballot images with the State’s and the public’s interest in maintaining the security and integrity of confidential ballots.

In his brief, Raffensperger notes any legal challenges to the results of the 2020 general election are moot because the results have already been tabulated, audited by hand count, recounted by machine tabulation, and were certified by the Secretary of State on November 20, 2020, noting he has the sole authority to certify elections. Ignoring the huge momentum driving the campaign for election integrity in our country, Raffensperger states:

"The public interest would not be served by allowing Petitioners to undergo an unlawful fishing expedition into sealed ballots in their attempt to undermine the results of the general election."

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