The way we cast our ballots matters. Some methods are not secure. Some methods are overly complicated. Some methods are not transparent. Any of these shortcomings is enough to undermine public confidence in the outcomes of our elections – and thus undermine our democracy itself.
Voting by mail suffers from every one of those shortcomings. In 2020, the avalanche of nonprofit monies used to turn urban election offices into partisan turnout centers identified and exacerbated these flaws and the impact of legal violations. Read More
A review of transfer forms provided to The Georgia Star News in response to an open records request reveals that the Secretary of State’s office in Georgia is missing chain of custody documents for 6,995 absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes in Fulton County during the November 2020 election.
The number of absentee ballots for which the office has no evidence of the origination of the ballots represents 9 percent of the 79,460 total that Fulton County has recorded as being deposited into drop boxes during the more than month-long early voting and election day period. Read More
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.” Read More
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. Read More
An interview between The Georgia Star News and Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) News revealed that they had received Fulton County’s drop box absentee ballot transfer forms from the Secretary of State’s office in April. GPB News, however, did not report on their findings until after The Star News report in June.
Stephen Fowler of Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) News requested an interview with John Fredericks, which also included Laura Baigert, of The Georgia Star News, as part of his fact-check for a story and to get comments from everyone involved. Read More
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. Read More
A tweet by Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) News writer Stephen Fowler on Saturday revealed more chain of custody document discrepancies in Fulton County’s absentee ballot drop box transfer forms.
The tweet included a partial image – the very top only — of two transfer forms Fowler claims were part of an open records response GPB News received on Wednesday from Fulton County election officials. Read More
Tennessee’s absentee ballots will have a watermark, starting in elections in 2022.
Gov. Bill Lee signed Senate Bill 1315, the Tennessee Election Integrity Act, which was passed by the Tennessee Legislature last month and will put an approved watermark on all absentee ballots with the goal of providing more security to the election process.
The watermark does not apply to military electronic absentee ballots, which are not printed onto paper. Local election authorities will be required to dispose of previously purchased ballot paper at the end of 2021. Read More
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. Read More
Six months after the November 3, 2020 presidential election, officials at the state and county level in Georgia have failed to produce chain of custody records for more than 333,000 absentee vote by mail ballots deposited in drop boxes located around the state for that election. Joe Biden was certified… Read More
Five months after the November 3, 2020 presidential election, officials at the state and county level in Georgia have failed to produce chain of custody records for more than 355,000 absentee vote by mail ballots deposited in drop boxes located around the state for that election.
Joe Biden was certified as the victor of Georgia and its 16 Electoral College votes by a margin of 11,599 votes, or less than 0.25 percent of the 5 million votes cast in the November 3, 2020 presidential election in Georgia. According to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, 1.3 million of those votes were cast as absentee vote by mail ballots. Based on polling conducted by John McLaughlin & Associates, 700,000 of those absentee vote by mail ballots were sent via regular mail and 600,000 were deposited in the estimated 300 drop boxes located around the state and the manually picked up and transported by election workers to the local county registrar for subsequent counting. Read More
A review of drop box ballot transfer forms reveals that Cobb County violated the Rules of the State Election Board for Absentee Voting that requires absentee ballots from drop box locations be “immediately transported” to the country registrar.
Specifically, the Rules of the State Election Board of the Georgia Election Code Chapter 183-1 for Absentee Voting states, “The ballots from the drop box shall be immediately transported to the county registrar and processed and stored in the same manner as absentee ballots returned by mail are processed and stored.” Read More
The election was a sham, and there is “overwhelming proof of fraud,” Rudy Giuliani said Thursday in the second of two hearings at the Georgia Senate, and his team showed a damning video of suitcases stuffed with ballots processed once counting was supposedly finished.
The Senate Government Oversight Committee held the first hearing of the day to “evaluate the election process to ensure the integrity of Georgia’s voting process,” 11 Alive reported. Read More
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger stated that President Donald Trump should give up and “leave quietly” from the White House. The secretary of state made these comments in an interview with Atlanta Journal-Constitution published Saturday.
“When you lose an election, you should leave quietly. It’s the will of the people that has been expressed,” stated Raffensperger. Read More
The Amistad Project of the Thomas More Society said it filed a lawsuit on Thanksgiving asking the Michigan Supreme Court to physically secure all evidence of irregularities in the 2020 election and declare the results invalid on the basis of alleged unlawful conduct by state and local officials.
“In numerous instances, state and local officials brazenly violated election laws in order to advance a partisan political agenda,” said Phill Kline, Director of The Amistad Project. “The pattern of lawlessness was so pervasive and widespread that it deprived the people of Michigan of a free and fair election, throwing the integrity of the entire process into question.” Read More
President Donald Trump’s legal team on Saturday said they had filed a petition for a recount in Georgia, one that would match signatures on absentee ballot envelopes, which the state did not do in the previous effort.
The team made the announcement in a statement. Read More
A third of active Michigan voters have requested absentee ballots so far, a spokesperson from Michigan’s Secretary of State (SOS) office announced on Tuesday.
More than 2.39 million Michigan voters have requested ballots, more than 31 percent of the 7.7 million people registered to vote in Michigan and 35 percent of the state’s 6.7 million active voters, according to state data released by the SOS. Detroit City has requested the highest number of absentee ballots at 109,561 ballots, followed by Ann Arbor City at 40,786 ballots and Sterling Heights City at 32,083. Read More
A Michigan state judge ruled on Friday that absentee ballots that arrive after Election Day can still be counted.
Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled that absentee ballots that are postmarked for November 2 can still be counted even if they arrive up to two weeks after polls close on Election Day, according to reporting from CNN and ABC News. Absentee ballots were previously only allowed to be counted if they arrived before 8 p.m. on Election Day. Read More
A coalition filed two lawsuits in Michigan on Monday, a federal case against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for allegedly silencing political speech, and a state suit against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for reportedly circumventing state law protecting the right of Michiganders to have their vote properly counted.
The lawsuits were announced on a new website launched by the coalition: Got Freedom? The website is available here. Read More
The Hill reports, the Wisconsin Elections Commission agreed to mail out 2.7 million absentee ballot applications to most voters in the state this fall ahead of November’s presidential election.
The vote came just a week after the six-person panel split 3-3 along partisan lines on whether to mail the forms to nearly all registered voters, even if they hadn’t requested one. The bipartisan commission on Wednesday unanimously passed the plan. Read More