Red flags Georgia GOP urges secretary of state to reconsider 1‑to-10 ballot audit ratio

Geor­gia elec­tion offi­cials will begin a statewide retal­ly­ing process of all votes cast in the 2020 pres­i­den­tial race Fri­day. The hand count must be com­plet­ed by Nov. 20, which is the state dead­line to cer­ti­fy all votes.

Although mem­bers of the Geor­gia GOP and Trump Cam­paign demand­ed a recount in the close-knit race — and suc­ceed­ed in get­ting the state to do so — sev­er­al issues with the audit­ing process were laid out by Geor­gia GOP Chair­man David Shafer and Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Doug Collins in a let­ter addressed to Sec­re­tary of State Brad Raffensperger.

“You stat­ed yes­ter­day that the process would be “an audit, a recount and a recan­vass all at once” and would help “build pub­lic con­fi­dence. How­ev­er, the train­ing and direc­tives issued today do not com­port with your stat­ed goals yes­ter­day and do not sat­is­fy our con­cerns that gave rise to our request for a hand count in the first place,” wrote Shafer and Sen. Collins.

  1. The audit does not include a review of sig­na­tures on absen­tee bal­lot appli­ca­tions and bal­lot envelopes to con­firm the valid­i­ty of the statu­to­ry sig­na­ture ver­i­fi­ca­tion process by the counties.
  2. We have con­cerns about mean­ing­ful access to the audit­ing process by our des­ig­nat­ed mon­i­tors. Your office announced today that the state par­ties can des­ig­nate only one review­er for every 10 audit teams. That makes it impos­si­ble for hand count deci­sions to be reviewed in real time.
  3. We are very trou­bled by the direc­tive issued today that coun­ties must cer­ti­fy their results by 5:00 P.M. tomor­row. Giv­en that the audit and recount will nec­es­sar­i­ly still be ongo­ing, it is com­plete­ly improp­er for coun­ties to be direct­ed to cer­ti­fy the accu­ra­cy of the results before the audit and hand count are completed.
  4. We had expect­ed to receive by yes­ter­day the para­me­ters for the hand count in order to pro­vide suf­fi­cient time to the pub­lic of the process to be fol­lowed. How­ev­er, your train­ing and guid­ance were issued only with­in the last few hours and the coun­ties are direct­ed to start the audit tomorrow.
  5. The secu­ri­ty of the paper bal­lots is crit­i­cal­ly impor­tant. Aside from a sin­gle pass­ing ref­er­ence about secu­ri­ty dur­ing today’s train­ing, the Sec­re­tary of State’s office pro­vid­ed no sub­stan­tive guid­ance regard­ing the neces­si­ty of main­tain­ing the secu­ri­ty of the bal­lots, the trans­port­ing of bal­lots, and doc­u­ment­ing the chain of cus­tody as required by law.
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