43,000 Absentee Ballot Votes Counted in DeKalb County 2020 Election Violated Chain of Custody Rule

43,907 of the 61,731 absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes in the November 2020 presidential election in DeKalb County, Georgia–72 percent–were counted in official tallies certified by the county and the state, despite violating chain of custody requirements set forward in Georgia Emergency Rule 183-1-14-1.8-.14  promulgated by the Georgia State Election Board at its July 1, 2020, meeting.

That rule states absentee ballots placed in drop boxes, “shall be immediately transported to the county registrar” by the two person collection team, which is required to sign a ballot transfer form indicating the number of ballots picked up, the time the ballots were picked up, and the location of the drop box, and that, “The county registrar or a designee thereof shall sign the ballot transfer form upon receipt of the ballots from the collection team.”

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Fulton County Elections Officials Contradict Georgia Public Broadcasting About the Source and Status of Missing Absentee Ballot Chain of Custody Documents

Georgia Public Broadcasting building

In the latest development related to the absentee ballot chain of custody documents from the November 2020 election, Fulton County elections officials have contradicted Georgia Public Broadcasting News’s claims about their source for the drop box transfer forms and that documents for 18,901 absentee ballots remain missing.

On August 3, The Georgia Star News reported that Fulton County denied the same chain of custody documents for absentee ballots deposited into drop boxes during the November 2020 general election that they purportedly gave to Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) News on or before June 17.

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Fulton County Fails to Meet Their Own Deadline to Provide Absentee Ballot Chain of Custody Documents From November 2020 Election, Delays Response for a Third Time

Fulton County election officials have failed to meet a second response date they set to provide The Georgia Star News with complete chain of custody documents for absentee ballots deposited into drop boxes during the November 3, 2020, general election.  For a third time, Fulton County has extended their response date, this time to August 6, 2021.

Fulton County’s communication about the third extension comes more than eight months and five follow-up requests after The Star News filed an initial open records request on December 1, 2020, for the drop box transfer forms that document the critical chain of custody of absentee ballots deposited in 37 drop boxes installed throughout Fulton County for the 41 days of the November 2020 election period.

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Fulton County Fails to Meet Their Own Extended Response Date for Providing Absentee Ballot Chain of Custody Documents from the November 2020 Election

Fulton County Response

Fulton County officials have failed to meet the extended response date they set for providing The Georgia Star News with complete chain of custody documents for absentee ballots deposited into drop boxes during the November 3, 2020, general election.

More than seven months and five follow-up requests after The Star News filed an initial open records request on December 1, 2020, Fulton County Legal Assistant Shana Eatmon said they needed until July 15, to provide the requested documents.

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68 Percent of Previously Missing Fulton County Drop Box Transfer Forms Lack Receipt Time that Documents Chain of Custody

A preliminary analysis by The Georgia Star News of Fulton County drop box transfer forms covering five days in October 2020 that were previously missing reveals that 68 percent lack a recording of the time the absentee ballots were received by the registrar or designee which documents the ballot chain of custody.

Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) News published a report on the transfer forms that they said they received from Fulton County on June 15. 

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The Washington Post Calls Fulton County’s Absentee Ballot Chain of Custody Documentation ‘Shoddy’ and ‘Sloppy,’ Cites Georgia Star News Reporting

In a story this week, The Washington Post referred to Fulton County’s record-keeping of the chain of custody documentation of the absentee ballots deposited into drop boxes during the November 3, 2020, election “shoddy” and “sloppy.”

While the apparent goal of the story was to deliver “Four Pinocchios” to former President Donald Trump for what The Post called “baseless claims about ballot drop boxes in Fulton County, Ga,” it made arguments supporting claims of election irregularities.

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Fulton County Election Official Admits Chain of Custody Documents Missing for 2020 Absentee Ballots Deposited in Drop Boxes

In a stunning admission about the critical chain of custody documents for absentee ballots deposited into drop boxes in the November 3, 2020, election, Fulton County election officials have said that “some procedural paperwork may have been misplaced.”

This is the first time that an election official has made an admission regarding the occurrence of significant election issues.

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Six Months After the 2020 Election, Fulton County Has Failed to Produce Chain of Custody Documents for 18,901 Absentee Ballots Placed in Drop Boxes

Six months after the November 3, 2020 election, Fulton County has failed to produce complete chain of custody documents for 18,901 vote-by-mail absentee ballots deposited by voters into drop boxes.

The Fulton County missing documentation is a little more than five percent of the estimated 333,000 vote-by-mail absentee ballots cast in the November 3, 2020 general election for which chain of custody documentation is still missing.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has refused to collect, count, and verify the chain of custody documentation associated with an estimated 600,000 absentee vote by mail ballots deposited in drop boxes in the 2020 general election. Instead, Raffensperger has said it is a county responsibility. The Georgia Star News has filed Open Records Requests with all 159 counties in the state to obtain this documentation and report on it to the public.

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Five and a Half Months After 2020 Election Fulton County Fails to Produce Complete Chain of Custody Documents for Absentee Vote by Mail Ballots Deposited in Drop Boxes

Nearly half a year after the 2020 Election, and four months after the original inquiry, Fulton County has failed to fulfill the Open Records Request with The Georgia Star News. Although the county did provide some chain of custody documents, initial analysis by The Star News indicates that the Fulton County ballot transfer form records sent may be incomplete.

On January 22, Fulton County Officials responded to the Open Records request made by The Star News with two PDF files. As previously reported, of those two files – one with a label that ended with BX-1, and another with a label that ended with BX-3 – showed ballot transfer form records for 36,635 absentee votes by mail ballots deposited in drop boxes.

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Twitter, Media Prepping Public for Georgia Election Uncertainty

Twitter paired up with far-left news outlet Reuters Tuesday to prepare the public for a drawn-out runoff election process in Georgia.

“Why the winners in Georgia runoffs might not be known for days,” a Twitter “moment” said. 

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Federal Judge Dismisses Georgia GOP Lawsuit Alleging Insecurity of Drop Boxes and Absentee Signature Verification

A federal judge dismissed a Georgia lawsuit Thursday challenging the legality of drop boxes and absentee signature verification. The suit, filed by the 12th Congressional District Republican Committee, sought to eliminate the use of absentee ballot drop boxes and invalidate signature matching protocol added earlier this year and for the runoff election.

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DeKalb County Fails to Produce Drop Box Absentee Ballot Transfer Forms Required by State Election Board Emergency Rule

With the January 5 run-off election for two U.S. Senate seats underway and election practices in Georgia for the November 3 presidential election remaining under intense scrutiny, DeKalb County has failed to produce the drop box absentee ballot transfer forms that are required under a State Election Board emergency rule.

Absentee ballot transfer forms are a critical piece in the chain of custody for votes deposited into the approximately 300 drop boxes deployed throughout the state of Georgia for the November election.  DeKalb County, with its 34 drop box locations, accounted for more than 10 percent of Georgia’s absentee ballot drop boxes.

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Georgia Secretary of State and State Election Board Changed Absentee Ballot Signature Verification and Added Drop Boxes Without State Legislature’s Approval

As early in-person voting began Monday, December 14, for the general election run-off of two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia, significant changes for absentee ballot signature verification and drop boxes put into place by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the State Election Board without the state legislature’s approval are still in place.

Meanwhile, registered voters “mailing” an absentee ballot for the general election run-off for the federal offices started more than three weeks ago on November 18, according to Georgia’s election calendar. 

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Ballot Transfer Forms Show 78 Percent of 89,000 Absentee Ballots from Drop Boxes in Cobb County, Georgia Were Not Transported to Registrar ‘Immediately’ As Election Code Rule Requires

An analysis of ballot transfer forms from Cobb County reveals that 78 percent of the more than 89,000 absentee ballots from drop box locations, required to be “immediately transported” to the county registrar according to Emergency Rule of the State Election Board for Absentee Voting, took more than one hour to be transferred to election officials.

State Election Board Emergency Rule 183-1-14 relative to securing absentee ballot drop boxes was adopted by the State Election Board at the July 1, 2020, meeting.

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Republican Organizations File Lawsuit to Ensure Georgia Follows State Laws for January 5 Runoff Elections

The Republican National Committee and the Georgia Republican Party filed a lawsuit to ensure Georgia election law is properly followed for the January 5 runoff election.

The lawsuit demands that poll watchers be allowed to do their jobs as permitted under Georgia law, and safeguards in the law for ballot “drop boxes” are upheld, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the Republican National Committee.

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Pollster: Fraud Prone Drop Boxes Cost Trump and GOP the Election if Biden Wins GA; State Legislature Must Fix This Before Senate Runoffs

Drop-boxes will have cost President Donald Trump the election if Biden wins Georgia, and this points to the state’s most important concern for the upcoming Senate runoffs, Pollster John McLaughlin said in an exclusive statement to The Georgia Star News.

McLaughlin is CEO and partner of national survey research and strategic services company McLaughlin & Associates.

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Cobb County Says 89,000 Absentee Ballots Delivered from Drop Boxes, but Has Not Yet Produced Chain of Custody Logs

Nearly one in four of the 387,305 votes cast in Cobb County in the 2020 general election were absentee ballots placed in the drop boxes located around the county.

More than 1.3 million absentee ballots were returned and counted in the 2020 general election in Georgia, out of 5 million votes cast. In the current tally, Joe Biden leads Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential contest by 12,670 votes.

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State Election Board Votes to Extend Drop Box Use and Mandate Early Processing for Absentee Ballots for Runoff Senate Election

The Georgia State Election Board voted to extend the absentee ballot voting rules on the use of drop boxes and early processing. Leading up to the January 5 general election runoff, voters may continue to deliver their absentee ballots at drop boxes and officials must begin processing ballots at minimum a week before Election Day.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger chaired Monday’s meeting. The board gathered to discuss three emergency rules set to expire prior to the runoff election, though they opted to only address the first two on their agenda.

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