Tea Party Patriots Actions Reacts to Georgia Secretary of State’s Decision to Order Inadequate Audit of State’s Ballots
Tea Party Patriots Action Honorary Chairman Jenny Beth Martin – responding to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s decision to order an inadequate audit of the state’s ballots – today released the following statement:
“Secretary of State Raffensberger and the State Election Board owe it to Georgia’s voters to ensure that every legal vote is counted, and that any voter fraud is identified.
“Yesterday, Secretary Raffensberger said, ‘Every legal vote in Georgia will count.’ That’s a worthy goal. However, the process his office laid out today falls far short of that goal. In a letter sent to Secretary Raffensberger today, Georgia Recount Leader Doug Collins and Georgia GOP Chairman David Shafer explained how Secretary Raffensberger’s directions fall short.
“First, the audit does not include a review of signatures on absentee ballot applications and ballot envelopes to confirm the legitimacy of votes cast. Currently, reviewing signatures is the only safeguard to verify an absentee voter’s identity under Georgia law. Consequently, the Secretary must include in the hand count and audit process a review of signatures on absentee ballot applications and envelopes in order to determine whether or not the counties properly executed the signature verification process.
“Second, the current process lacks meaningful access to the auditing process. Instead, the Secretary should allow designated monitors on a one-to-one ratio for every audit team, as well as for every vote review panel. Further, he should direct the counties to make certain that the designated monitors are able to confirm their ability to actually see the process as it occurs.
“Third, the Secretary’s direction to the counties to certify results by 5:00 P.M. tomorrow – while they are simultaneously conducting a recount and audit to verify the legal vote counts are correct – makes no sense. Instead, he should direct the counties to finish the recount and audit, then certify.
“Fourth, launching the recounts fewer than 24 hours after the directives were issued does not allow enough time for sufficient public notice of the existence, location, and times of the audits and hand counts. Instead, he should instruct counties to begin by Monday, so they have time to plan and execute the recount properly.
“Fifth, the security of the paper ballots is critically important. This is the first statewide hand recount in at least 18 years. We must be sure that ballots follow proper chains of custody, as required by state law.
“As it stands now, neither campaign will be satisfied with the current process.
“More importantly, Georgia voters will not have confidence in our electoral process without a transparent, open process that is done right and counts every legal vote.
“The eyes of the nation are on Georgia – when it comes to the presidential election and the upcoming Senate runoff races – and we need the Secretary of State and the State Election Board to respond with the appropriate transparency and urgency.”