ATLANTA, Ga – Elected officials are taking aim and Fulton County and its elections director Richard Barron, following new details regarding the 2020 election.
Today, Speaker of the House David Ralston (R – Blue Ridge) released the letter he sent to Fulton Elections Director Richard Barron. In the letter, Ralston requests Barron ask the GBI to investigate November 2020 election. He cited the mounting allegations against Fulton County as his reasoning behind the need for an investigation.
“Recently, media reports have surfaced which call into question the way in which Fulton County conducted, counted and audited the November 2020 Presidential Election. These reports have been accompanied by video and other evidence which is part of on-going litigation and requires thorough examination and explanation. Given the seriousness of this situation and the possible repercussions for our state and nation, it is time we have an independent investigation – once and for all – of the way in which Fulton County conducted, counted and audited the November 2020 Presidential Election,” Ralston wrote.
Raffensperger calls for Barron’s firing
Throughout the week, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R-Ga) has issued several tweets, and last month, he held a press conference in front of headlines concerning Fulton’s lengthy history of election problems.
Most recently, a report of the double-counting of 200 absentee ballots came to light after the new voting law made it public.
“Fulton County’s continued failures have gone on long enough with no accountability. Rick Barron and Ralph Jones, Fulton’s registration chief, must be fired and removed from Fulton’s elections leadership immediately. Fulton’s voters and the people of Georgia deserve better,” one of Raffensperger’s tweets read.
Earlier this year, the Fulton County Elections Board voted to fire Barron, but the commissioners rejected the termination.
Another tweet stated, “Long before November, I had been working to get Fulton to clean up their decades of election mismanagement. Restoring confidence in our elections should be a bipartisan concern. Fulton County’s poor elections management is making that impossible.”
Raffensperger’s also gone on record urging Republicans to take “the lead on election regulation reform” and that the SOS assigned monitor found “significant management issues.”
Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts (D – Fulton) described Raffensperger’s call to fire Barron and Jones as a “sell out to conspiracy theorists.”
“His ultimate goal is based on the provisions of Senate Bill 202, he would like to take over the elections in Fulton County, that is not going to happen, period,” Pitts told Fox 5 Atlanta.
Under the Election Integrity Act (SB 202), the Secretary of State’s Office does have the authority to take over a county’s elections process if numerous instances of problems are documented. The Department of Justice is currently suing Georgia over the bill on the grounds that it violates voter’s civil rights.
Read the entirety of Ralston’s call for an election investigation below:
ELLIJAY. Ga – Fulton County filed a motion to dismiss the election integrity lawsuit. Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero issued a motion to stay in the case until he could rule on it.
Friday, May 28, was originally the day plaintiffs’ and Fulton County’s council convened to decide a process for reviewing the unsealed November 2020 election absentee ballots. However, Fulton County’s motion to dismiss resulted in a delay of the case until June 21.
Plaintiff Garland Favorito, of VoterGa.org, explained that Fulton County’s attempting to get out of the lawsuit and place the case solely on the shoulders of Fulton’s Board of Elections and Registration. VoterGa.org originally sued the board of registration and elections, but the court added Fulton County to the suit. Amero’s interpretation of Georgia’s new sovereign immunity law in such a way that the county would need to be included.
Fulton County’s hired the law firm Garland, Samuel, and Loeb to represent it. The firm specializes in three areas criminal, personal injury, and business litigation.
Favorito commented that the new motion “doesn’t appear to have a ton of validity” and is hopeful the judge will throw it out at the next hearing. His group is currently working on their response.
As for the Department of Justice becoming involved, Favorito doesn’t believe the federal government will intervene with the state’s case.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) has gone on record supporting legal investigations into election integrity while condemning corruption in Fulton County. His office has also filed an amicus brief in this case, trying to protect voter’s rights, but Judge Amero decided to unseal the ballots anyway.
Favorito added the plan to review the ballots will probably continue after July 4 unless Judge Amero dismisses the case.
HENRY COUNTY, Ga – Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero will grant the plaintiffs access to ballots from the November 3, 2020 election in Fulton County with some limitations.
They will be able to inspect and scan the unsealed ballots but only according to protocols and practices set in place by the court.
Judge Amaro agreed that the plaintiffs should have access to 600 dpi (dots per inch) images. He was against a third party handling the ballots.
“The question that I have really is whether instructing the county to do that, requiring the petitioners to pay is sufficient,” Amero remarked.
All parties involved were told to meet where the ballots are being stored in Fulton County next Friday, May 28. Amaro specifically stated he only wanted council in attendance with a potential exception for forensic experts. From there, they will continue to iron out protocols and procedures for ballot inspection.
“I’m wondering also whether or not it’s possible to produce the envelopes in a way that does 100 percent eliminate any identifying information,” Amero asked.
The attorney general counsel representing the Secretary of State’s office explained the envelopes are signed which is considered identifying information. The signature and time and date stamp are on the back of the envelope. Plaintiffs have asked for the time and date information.
Secretary of State requested a “truly independent” audit rather than conducted by the petitioners who may have “preconceived biases.”
“I have no inclination at all to release these ballots to anyone other than the clerk and the council,” Amero told the Secretary of State’s attorney, “Whether they have the right to conduct these independent viewings, maybe not a physical inspection, but an inspection none the less, a visual inspection, combined with an opportunity to have ballot images at a resolution that allows them to peruse their claims that seems to be something that they have the authority and the right to do.”
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said the following about election integrity and ballot audits following today’s ruling:
“From day one I have encouraged Georgians with concerns about the election in their counties to pursue those claims through legal avenues. Fulton County has a long standing history of election mismanagement that has understandably weakened voters’ faith in its system. Allowing this audit provides another layer of transparency and citizen engagement.”
According to the plaintiffs’ legal counsel, a special scanner would need to be brought in to achieve 600 dpi images of the ballots. The judge will take that into consideration along with the time and labor necessary to complete the task.
Garland Favorito, a voting rights advocate, is one of the plaintiffs in the case, and his group VoterGa has partnered with Jovan Pulitzer for forensic inspection.
“Jovan is the only expert we have found who clearly understands all details of what is needed in a forensic ballot inspection. His unique, patented technology is unmatched in the country. He has assembled a remarkable team of forensic experts who can be on site to assist VoterGA inspection team members. His technology team and our Georgia election expertise represent the perfect combination of teammates who can find the truth about Georgia ballot integrity no matter what that truth may be.”
All election contest suits have been dismissed. This particular case pertains to a violation of individual rights pertaining to the state constitution.
ATLANTA, Ga – Republican Senators David Perdue, Kelly Loeffler, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) trade barbs concerning the integrity of Georgia’s election process.
In a joint statement, Perdue and Loeffler requested the resignation of Raffensperger, citing “the management of Georgia’s elections has become an embarrassment for our state” and failure to deliver honest elections.
However, the statement lists zero evidence of voter fraud or specific examples of the Secretary of State’s election failures. The Georgia Republicans and Senators are both in separate January 5, 2021 runoffs. Perdue is facing Democrat challenger Jon Ossoff. Loeffler is in contention against Democrat Raphael Warnock.
The statement goes on to address that every legal vote should be counted and for transparency in the county process.
“We believe where there are failures, they need to be called out – even when it’s in your own party. There have been too many failures in Georgia elections this year and the most recent election shined a national light on the problems.”
In a rebuttal statement, Raffensperger asserts that he has no intention of resigning, “the voters of Georgia hired me, and the voters will be the one to fire me.”
The Secretary of State lists the facts pertaining to the November 3 election and the days following. Almost five million Georgians cast ballots in this election. 75 percent voted in person, and 25 percent voted no-excuse absentee ballot. The no-excuse absentee law was passed by a Republican legislature with support from Speaker David Ralston and signed by then-Governor Sonny Perdue.
Senator Perdue received more votes from Georgians than President Trump, and the president garnered the most votes ever for the Republican presidential candidate in Georgia.
The Secretary of State’s office is and will be investigating any “specific allegations of illegal voting.” It also has a monitor in Fulton County, “one of the longtime problem Democrat-run counties.”
“I care about counting each and every legal vote… and assuring that illegal votes won’t be counted,” Raffensperger added.
He agrees that illegal voting probably occurred in Georgia, but not to the extent, or margin necessary, to change the presidential race outcome.
Concerning the lack of transparency charge, he directed attention to the daily, sometimes twice daily, press conferences and hourly number updates.
Raffensperger alludes to problems with federal law when it comes to maintaining “clean voter rolls.”
“Federal law, not state law, is what allows people to register to vote before a runoff even if they weren’t registered in for the general election. Now that Senators Perdue and Loeffler are concerned about elections, hopefully, they can fix these federal laws.”
Secretary of State ends with a promise to do his duty as an elected official and is concerned about Republicans maintaining the U.S. Senate. He suggests that Perdue and Loeffler “focus on that.”
Statement from Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger pic.twitter.com/Sf1JIWH5qg
— GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (@GaSecofState) November 9, 2020
On Oct. 2, Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler and Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn hosted a meet and greet at Black Diamond Grill. Both Senators were behind schedule – planned to start at noon – due to getting tested for COVID-19 prior to their arrival.
Both. Loeffler and Blackburn had been in contact with President Trump in recent days. Both senators’ tests came back as negative. Loeffler’s goal for her campaign and the upcoming election is to shake up the status quo as a businesswoman.
Blackburn –who introduced Loeffler – said since Trump has been in office, the economy has grown as well as the strength of the country. It will continue to grow with the leadership of figures like Trump and Loeffler, according to Blackburn.
“This country is coming back because with Donald Trump and Republican leadership, we can do this again and we will,” Blackburn said.
Loeffler said Washington is in need of more businesspeople like herself and Trump. Her fight for the Georgian’s will not stop, according to Loeffler.
“There’s nothing that the radical left fears more than a strong, conservative businesswoman, so I am proud to stand by you,” Loeffler said. “The radical left is working overtime to take away our freedoms, our opportunities, our way of life here in Georgia. They’re trying to get outsiders, like myself, like President Trump out of Washington but we’re not going to let them.”
Loeffler’s campaign is based on the American Dream and to continue to fight for it. Loeffler has focused on her core values of pro-life, pro-second amendment and holding China accountable.
“I have stood up to the radical left’s cancel culture and I’ve drawn the line and said we will not be canceled; we will not be silenced. I’m going to be that voice for every single Georgian who feels like they can’t speak out,” Loeffler said. “I am working for you…for all Georgian’s.”