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 Chain of Custody Documents Purportedly Given to Georgia Public Broadcasting on June 17 Have Been Denied to The Georgia Star News

Georgia Public Broadcasting building

In a stunning development Wednesday, Fulton County has denied The Georgia Star News the same chain of custody documents for absentee ballots deposited into drop boxes during the November 2020 election, that they purportedly gave to Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) News on or before June 17.

Fulton County’s Legal Assistant Shana Eatmon’s emailed response informed The Star News said that there are no documents that meet our open records request.

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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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State Sen. Burt Jones Requests Senate Investigation into Numerous and Documented Failures of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Cited by 45th President Donald Trump

Burt Jones

Georgia State Senator Burt Jones (R-Jackson) on Thursday made a formal request for an investigation by the Senate Government Oversight Committee into the failures of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, which he characterized as numerous and documented, catching the attention of 45th President Donald Trump.

In a statement issued by Trump Friday, which included a copy of Jones’ letter, he said:

The Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, together with Brad Raffensperger, allowed this Election in Georgia to be Rigged and Stolen. Why they ever agreed to Stacey Abram’s Consent Decree nobody will ever know. Thank you to Senator Burt Jones and all of the other Patriots for continuing the fight. Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger have done an absolutely terrible job of watching over Voter Integrity in Georgia. They must be held accountable!

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Taxpayer-Funded National Public Radio Spreads 2020 Election Misinformation About Absentee Ballot Drop Box Chain of Custody Documents in Georgia

Taxpayer-funded National Public Radio (NPR) spread 2020 election misinformation about absentee ballot drop box chain of custody documents in Georgia in an article written by Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) political reporter Stephen Fowler published on Friday. That article was the basis for a four-minute segment broadcast across NPR’s national network Friday afternoon.

The NPR Politics Twitter account tweeted the story, titled “How Pro-Trump Local News Sites Keep Pushing 2020 Election Misinformation,” out on Friday.

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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 Supplied Two Different Versions of 34 Critical Chain of Custody Documents for Absentee Ballot Drop Boxes That Go Back In Time

Fulton County election officials provided two different versions of 34 completed critical chain of custody documents for absentee ballot drop boxes from the November 2020 election.

The documents were provided in response to open records requests made by The Georgia Star News, which remain incomplete even six months after the election, The Star reported.

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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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Judge Extends Virginia’s Voter Registration Deadline Until Midnight Thursday

A federal Judge extended Virginia’s voter registration deadline Wednesday morning after the system experienced statewide outages from a severed fiber cable on Tuesday.

The deadline for Virginians to register to vote is now Thursday at 11:59 p.m. 

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Nearly 500,000 Virginians Have Already Voted

Since the start of early voting on September 18, 482,674 Virginians have already cast their ballots for the rapidly-approaching November general election. 

Of the almost half a million votes, 285,805 were in-person and 196,869 were through the mail,  according to the Virginia Public Access Project’s (VPAP) early voting daily dashboard. 

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