Investigators in Georgia have found no evidence to substantiate claims of fraud or counterfeit ballot counting in Fulton County during the 2020 general election, according to a court filing.
Henry County Superior Court Chief Justice Brian Amero is presiding over a trial alleging fraud in Fulton County during last year’s election. He is weighing in on county officials’ request to dismiss the lawsuit. At a hearing last month, he asked for an update on any investigation by the Secretary of State’s Office of State and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation into allegations of fraud or counterfeit ballots in the state’s most populous county.
Lawyers for the state attorney general’s office filed a response brief Tuesday detailing the investigative steps taken in response to the claims.
Former President Donald Trump lashed out at Georgia, and Fulton County in particular, after the November general election, claiming without evidence that county fraud contributed to his narrow loss in the state.
The affidavit, filed on behalf of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger with a brief lawsuit filed Tuesday, addresses the allegations that witnesses found suspicious-looking during an arm count of ballots stemmed from the state’s audit requirement. View absentee ballots.
“Based on witness statements and examination of approximately 1,000 absentee ballots and ballot images, the secretary’s investigators have not disclosed any absentee ballots that match the description given … or otherwise appear to be fraudulent or counterfeit ,” says the brief.
Investigators spoke with an auditor, Susan Voyles, during the hand count. She said she saw a batch of “antique” absentee ballots that appeared to have been marked not by hand but by computer and not creased as if they had been put in envelopes.
Investigators checked the ballots in batches and boxes identified by Voyles, but all were tallied and none were marked by a computer. Voyles then told investigators that he must have made a mistake and gave them another box number. Investigators determined that the box-batch combination he cited was not present.
Voyles told investigators that she had reported suspicious-looking absentee ballots to the county elections officer at the time, but that none of the officers recalled talking to her about suspicious-looking ballots.
Investigators also spoke to an auditor, Barbara Hartman, at the same table as Voyle. He confirmed that he had seen suspicious-looking ballots, but said he had not noted down the box or batch number. She also said that she did not report suspicious-looking ballots to election officials for fear that poll workers would crease them.
Investigators also spoke to Sonia-Francis Rowley and Gordon Rowley, both auditors, during the hand count. He said he saw ballots that weren’t folded, but he didn’t report it to election officials or pay attention to batch or box numbers.
The brief also addressed a widely discussed and previously dismissed claim that Fulton County election staff were working at the State Farm Arena on election night, when observers and the media repeatedly dropped ballots. and scanned, they pulled out “suitcases” of ballots from under a table.
Investigators reviewed nearly 24 hours of security footage. They found the video to confirm that the “suitcases” were ordinary ballots that election workers put under the table when they thought they were done for the night and then again when they were asked to continue counting. pulled back.
Investigators interviewed the county’s chief registrar, four election workers and a county media contact. He said the ballot scanners get jammed frequently, forcing him to make multiple attempts to scan all the ballot papers in each batch. Investigators reviewed scanner activity logs, which confirmed the paper jams reported by election workers and seen in the video.
Investigators concluded, therefore, that there was no evidence at trial to substantiate allegations that election workers scanned and counted fraudulent ballots that were hidden under tables in the field. Former U.S. Attorney BJ Pak made a brief note of arriving at the same conclusion based on an independent review of the statements and evidence provided to the FBI.
The lawsuit, originally filed in December, said there was evidence of fraudulent ballots and improper vote counting in Fulton County. It relied heavily on the affidavits of witnesses interviewed by investigators. It was filed by nine Georgia voters and led by Garland Favarito, a longtime critic of Georgia’s electoral system. As part of the suit, they are seeking to inspect some 147,000 absentee ballots to determine if any are illegitimate.
In a hearing on September 20, Amero stayed the case for 20 days to give investigators time to respond to its order. He said it was important for him to know whether fake ballots were “included in the mix.” He has scheduled another hearing next month.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Georgia