by Debbie Dooley
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger ignited a firestorm when he announced in March of this year that he was appeasing Stacey Abrams and Georgia Democrats by sending out absentee ballot requests to 6.9 million active registered Georgia voters during the Primary elections. Georgia conservatives were outraged he was doing this because of the potential for rampant voter fraud involved with absentee ballots. Voters over 65 could request general election ballots when they requested their primary ballot.
Raffensperger’s office was flooded with phone calls from angry Republicans demanding he not do that. Raffensperger arrogantly ignored our pleas and pledged he had no plans to send out absentee ballot applications for the general election.
Once the applications went out, voters reported receiving ballot applications for people that no longer lived at their address and that had been deceased. It was a disaster.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger states in this letter , when he was requesting an almost 11 million dollar grant that they mailed out 6.9 million absentee ballot applications for the primary election and that a contractor was mailing the ballots to voters. Raffensperger also stated that they may mail out applications for the primary runoff and general election.
Raffensperger allowed an outside contractor to mail out absentee ballots. The fact he did this shows that Raffensperger had no clue about ballot security.
Gabriel Sterling is listed in this letter as the Voting System Implementation Manager and gives Sterling’s business email address [email protected] Using a gmail address for communication about the voting system is not secure. Sterling previously used [email protected] as his email address. Sterling has been all over media giving interviews as a SOS official defending the security of voting machines.
A few questions that I hope will be answered with open records requests that I intend to pursue vigorously.
1. Is Gabriel Sterling still an employee of the Secretary of State’s office and if not, when did he leave?
2. Did Raffensperger outsource voting system to Sterling’s company and how much did Sterling’s company get paid?
3. How many other contractors/business entities received contracts involving voting system implementation/training since January of 2019 and what were the amounts of the contracts?
Many Georgia Republicans are wondering if Stacey Abrams and Democrats are in charge at the Secretary of State’s Office.
Georgia elections officials on Monday voted to extend the use of ballot drop boxes for the January 5 twin Senate runoff where the Republican majority in the Senate is on the line.
The use of ballot drop boxes, which opens the door for illegal ballot harvesting, was set to expire in December, but the 5-member Georgia State Election Board voted to extend the use of drop boxes.
The five-member Georgia State Election Board, chaired by Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, voted on Monday to extend the use of the 24/7 monitored drop boxes for use through the runoffs. Use of the boxes was originally set to expire in late December.
The move comes amid a surge in absentee ballot requests in the runoff elections. Officials said that as of Monday morning 762,000 requests for absentee ballots had been submitted.
A second rule adopted allows counties to continue to begin processing absentee ballots two weeks before Election Day – but now also mandates them to start processing them no later than a week and one day ahead of the election. But as per Georgia law, none of the ballots would be tabulated and counted until the polls close on Jan. 5.
This is in direct violation of Georgia law. Georgia Code Title 21. Elections § 21-2-385 clearly states that absentee ballots are supposed to be either mailed or delivered in person to the local election board office. A drop box is not an election board office. The state election board requires they be monitored by video, but the videos are not made public and the local election board can charge you up to $ 15,000 to get a copy so you can view them.
The rule allowing counties to begin processing absentee ballots two weeks before election day violates Georgia law.
During verification the local election board would verify signatures and make sure the ballot is filled out. Will poll watchers be allowed during this time? The rule violates Georgia Code Title 21. Elections § 21-2-386 (3) which states the processing cannot begin until at 7:00 am election day.
The March 2020 settlement that Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger agreed to in order to appease Stacey Abrams and the Democrats is in direct violation of Georgia law. This settlement drastically changed how absentee ballots were handled..
Raffensperger agreed to allowing absentee ballot signatures to match either what is on file with the local election board office OR match the signature on the absentee ballot request. This is a major issue that opens the door wide open to ballot harvesters and election fraud. The settlement also agrees that if the initial review finds that the signature doesn’t match, a review panel looks at it for final determination.
This is a direct violation of Georgia Code Title 21. Elections § 21-2-386
which states: “(B) Upon receipt of each ballot, a registrar or clerk shall write the day and hour of the receipt of the ballot on its envelope.
The registrar or clerk shall then compare the identifying information on the oath with the information on file in his or her office, shall compare the signature or mark on the oath with the signature or mark on the absentee elector’s voter registration card or the most recent update to such absentee elector’s voter registration card and application for absentee ballot or a facsimile of said signature or mark taken from said card or application, and shall, if the information and signature appear to be valid and other identifying information appears to be correct, so certify by signing or initialing his or her name below the voter’s oath. Each elector’s name so certified shall be listed by the registrar or clerk on the numbered list of absentee voters prepared for his or her precinct.
(C) If the elector has failed to sign the oath, or if the signature does not appear to be valid, or if the elector has failed to furnish required information or information so furnished does not conform with that on file in the registrar’s or clerk’s office, or if the elector is otherwise found disqualified to vote, the registrar or clerk shall write across the face of the envelope “Rejected,” giving the reason therefor. The board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall promptly notify the elector of such rejection, a copy of which notification shall be retained in the files of the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk for at least two years. Such elector shall have until the end of the period for verifying provisional ballots contained in subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-419 to cure the problem resulting in the rejection of the ballot. The elector may cure a failure to sign the oath, an invalid signature, or missing information by submitting an affidavit to the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk along with a copy of one of the forms of identification enumerated in subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-417 before the close of such period. The affidavit shall affirm that the ballot was submitted by the elector, is the elector’s ballot, and that the elector is registered and qualified to vote in the primary, election, or runoff in question. If the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk finds the affidavit and identification to be sufficient, the absentee ballot shall be counted.
Georgia conservatives continue the fight for making sure every legal vote counts and illegal votes do not count.
Unfortunately, the Georgia Secretary of State’s office seems more interested in appeasing Democrats than making sure there was no election fraud regarding the absentee ballots.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for checking voter signatures as part of a recount in the race, which he lost to Joe Biden by more than 12,000 votes. And Gov. Brian Kemp and the Georgia Republican Party have called for auditing voter signatures to double-check the work of local election workers.
But at a press conference Monday, a top state election official confirmed it would be impossible to fulfill Trump’s request. And though the kind of audit sought by the governor is technically feasible, the election official said there is no specific evidence of wrongdoing to warrant more scrutiny of voter signatures.
“We can’t open investigations based on generalized, `we’re not happy with the outcome’” of the election, said Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting system manager. “If somebody comes to us with specific evidence, we investigate that.”
We are making phone calls and sending emails. You can see the action alerts below I just sent out.
Call Governor Brian Kemp and ask him to either call a special session of the legislature in order to secure the election and ballot security or to file a court action against Brad Raffensperger and the Georgia Election Board for changing Georgia law when they did not have the Constitutional Authority to do so and render both the rule changes and settlement agreement null and void.
Phone number – 404-656-1776
Newt Gingrich also encouraged Brian Kemp to take action. “Governor Kemp may have an opportunity to make real progress on election reform in Georgia.Last friday November 20 he called for the Secretary of State Raffensberger to audit the absentee ballot envelopes for signature match with applications.He also called for election law reform”
“Would have been better if Governor Kemp had acted on November 12 when Trump Recount Chair Doug Collins and GOP state chair David Shafer wrote Raffensberger asking for a review of the signatures on absentee ballot applications and envelopes.”
“Why did Governor Kemp wait until AFTER certification to ask for an audit of the absentee envelopes? In 2018 3.5% of the absentee votes were thrown out for not matching signatures and not being valid. In 2020 with 4 times as many absentee ballots only 0.3% have been rejected.”
“The difference in absentee ballot acceptance from 2018 to 2020 is about 39,000 votes. Biden’s entire margin in Georgia is 12,670 so if the normal absentee ballot rejection rate had been implemented it would be more than three times Biden’s margin of winning.”
Contact Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the SOS Voting System Manager Gabriel Sterling and demand they conduct an audit of signatures.
Brad Raffensperger – 404.656.2881
Gabriel Sterling – [email protected]
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Debbie Dooley is the President of the Atlanta Tea Party