Georgia Audit Limits Monitors and Omits Absentee Ballot Signature Matching


Shortly before the Georgia ballot audit began, uproar broke out over the limited amount of monitors overseeing the process and omission of absentee ballot signature matching.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced a Risk Limiting Audit (RLA) on Wednesday. The audit consisted of a hand recount beginning Friday.

However, legislators and activists were quick to notice two key issues with the RLA: a lack of signature matching for absentee ballots, and a limitation on the amount of monitors overseeing the recount.

Representative Doug Collins (R-GA-09) tweeted to explain the problems with the RLA processes.

“In our letter to @GaSecofState yesterday, @DavidShafer and I clearly voiced our concerns. ONE designated monitor cannot observe TEN tables at once.”

The letter attached to the tweet was made out to Raffensperger. It criticized the nature of the audit because it would omit a review of absentee ballot signatures and ballot envelope signatures. As proof for concern, the letter added data showing the absentee ballot rejection rate dropping from 3.5 percent in 2018 to .3 percent this year – despite the record number of absentee ballots in this election.

“We believe that a review of the signatures is fundamental to this procedure,” read the letter. “We do not believe it is possible to certify the results of the 2020 General Election without conducting this investigation and analysis.”

Additionally, the letter pointed out that the audit wouldn’t provide meaningful access to designated monitors. For every 10 tables of audit teams, there would only be one monitor allowed.

“Transparency has been a very significant problem during this election,” stated the letter. “You [Raffensperger] have publicly stated that transparency and openness are a high priority to you. That requires a system that allows our designated monitors to be able to meaningfully observe the audit and hand count. Having one monitor for ten audit teams does not allow for transparency.”

In an interview with The Tennessee Star, Georgia’s Republican National Committeewoman Ginger Howard stated that the number of monitors doesn’t affect state budget or organization at all.

“So, why would Raffensperger care? He’s not involved in getting people to volunteer – he can just give us access,” she said.

Howard also divulged that each team may have two or four members in it. Meaning, one monitor may have to watch over twenty to forty people dispersed over ten tables.

In response to concerns over the small amount of monitors, Raffensperger tweeted that he supports transparency. However, he didn’t mention any measures to increase the amount of monitors present for the audit.

Raffensperger is scheduled to certify election results by November 20.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Ballots” by Lance Fisher. CC BY-SA 2.0.






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