As of January 1st, Gabriel Sterling is currently the Georgia Secretary of State’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer; but from November 2019 until December 2020 he was the Voting System Implementation Manager, an independent contractor position. That’s because last year Sterling negotiated a $200,000 contract to oversee the state’s newly-acquired voting technology, which he’d help purchase from Dominion Voting Systems. In doing so, Sterling was paid $86,000 more than for his previous government position.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained Sterling’s contract information through an open records request. This year, in addition to reassuming his prior position with the Secretary of State’s office as their Chief Operating Officer, Sterling also picked up another position – Chief Financial Officer. However, Sterling has described his time as an independent contractor as a full-time employee with the Secretary of State.
The Georgia Star News reached out to the Secretary of State’s office to inquire about Sterling’s previous status as an independent contractor and current employment. Spokespersons for the Secretary of State’s office didn’t provide a response by press time.
Sterling has also become a leading spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s office concerning election matters immediately following the general election. He has hosted dual press conferences frequently with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, often to criticize claims of election fraud or voting irregularities.
As votes continued to be tallied late Tuesday evening, Sterling appeared on CNN evening to criticize President Donald Trump’s role in the special elections’ outcomes. Sterling was recognized by the network as the Voting System Implementation Manager – although he has currently resumed his role as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for the Secretary of State. He stated that he was speaking outside of his role as a public official, but was recognized by CNN as speaking in his official capacity.
“My personal opinion: it will fall squarely on the shoulders of President Trump and his actions since November 3rd,” stated Sterling. “Well when you tell people your vote doesn’t count, it’s been stolen, and people start to believe that. And then you go to the two senators and tell them to ask the Secretary of State to resign and trigger a civil war inside the Republican Party when you were telling us to unite, all of that stems from his decision-making since the November 3rd election.”
Sterling agreed with the anchorwoman’s assessment that the President was single-handedly responsible for dividing the party. He added that most individuals are unable to fully comprehend elections – even those who are longtime election workers.
“Well, the big problem you have is that people don’t understand elections,” stated Sterling. “Elections – even people who are in elections for a long time – don’t know all the pieces and parts. So it’s easy to exploit people’s ignorance on those fronts.”
Sterling advised the President to accept the election results.
“Mr. President, you already lost the state of Georgia,” asserted Sterling. “And the thing now is, no matter what you say you can’t undermine the people of Georgia’s integrity to know the voting system works and that their vote is going to count at the end of the day, one way or the other how this election comes out.”
On Wednesday morning, Sterling appeared on CNN again to discuss the President’s remarks to the reported discoveries of ballots in certain Democratic counties. President Trump tweeted that one county discovered 50,000 ballots, alluding to DeKalb County.
“The only mystical places are somewhere in the depths of the president’s mind. These ballots we found have been there – they’re not found ballots, they’re cast ballots,” stated Sterling. “I mean, one of the things he talked about yesterday was DeKalb County, that they found 60,000 ballots [sic]. No – we have known that they had 171,000 advanced voting ballots since Friday of this past week. Because that is when they were done voting, Friday of this past week. None of this is new, none of this is surprising. This is his intention to create chaos around this as we go into his final acts today as they challenge the results from Georgia and other states.”
Both Democratic candidates, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, lead in their respective runoff elections at the time of press.
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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Georgia Star News and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Gabriel Sterling” by Gabriel Sterling. Background Photo “Georgia Capital” by andre m. CC BY-SA 3.0.