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Georgia secretary of state concludes audit of ballot signatures

Brad Raffensperger
Posted at 7:54 PM, Dec 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-29 19:54:12-05

Amid steep criticism from President Donald Trump and his allies, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state ordered an audit of 10% of mail-in ballots in Cobb County.

The results found that election officials only made a mistake on .01% of signature adjudications.

According to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, law enforcement officers from Georgia’s Secretary of State office and Bureau of Investigation reviewed more than 15,000 ballots from last month’s presidential election in Cobb County. President-elect Joe Biden won the county with 56% of the vote.

The signature audit found that two ballots should have been returned for curing. Voters in Georgia can “cure” their ballot as the state has a rule that allows people who have their ballot rejected for administrative reasons, such as forgetting a signature, to fix their ballot. Ballots not cured during Election Week are thrown out.

Of the two ballots that should have been cured, one ballot was mistakenly signed by a spouse, and the other was for only signing the front of the envelope.

Out of the 15,000 ballots, there were 396 envelopes investigators pulled for additional examination. Of those, 386 were deemed value. The other 10 were given additional investigation. After being contacted, all 10 voters were positively identified.

Given the results of the audit, Raffensperger felt comfortable deeming the election was conducted without fraud.

“The Secretary of State’s office has always been focused on calling balls and strikes in elections and, in this case, three strikes against the voter fraud claims and they’re out,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “We conducted a statewide hand recount that reaffirmed the initial tally, and a machine recount at the request of the Trump campaign that also reaffirmed the original tally. This audit disproves the only credible allegations the Trump campaign had against the strength of Georgia’s signature match processes.”

According to Raffensperger’s office, officers used the Cobb County Elections Database which included signature information from voter registration forms, absentee ballot applications, voter certificates, passports, certificates of naturalization, in addition to other documents. The audit concluded that 99.99% of ballot signatures were properly judged.

Georgia was among five states Biden won last month that Trump won in 2016. In those states, Trump has attempted to call into question the election process, but has failed to win any significant legal challenges. There have not been any significant law enforcement investigations into the 2020 election announced by officials.

Last month, a joint statement released by federal and state officials described the presidential election as the “most secure in American history.”

The letter was signed by leaders of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and the National Association of State Election Directors, among others. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency was established two years ago as a branch of Homeland Security during the Trump administration.

In bold, the authors of the statement wrote, “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” This statement matches those from secretaries of state and boards of election throughout the US.

In response to the letter, Trump fired US election security head Chris Krebs.

To review the entire Georgia audit, click here.