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Official Ballot Harvesting Investigation in Georgia Begins

  • by:
  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

Evidence of systematic ballot harvesting in Georgia's 2020 general election and the U.S. Senate runoff is now being officially investigated, according to Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger. Raffensberger announced his plans to issue subpoenas on John Solomon's Just the News broadcast on Jan. 4.

Raffensberger mentioned he had already hired the MITRE Corporation to investigate evidence of ballot harvesting in the state and "found no anomalies." However, Raffensberger said his office has since received "credible allegations" of systematic ballot harvesting and is now conducting "an ongoing investigation."

Raffensberger is referring to evidence provided by True the Vote, which reportedly collected "over a petabyte of data" from their ballot-tracking initiative that found evidence of massive and systematic ballot harvesting in Georgia, as previously reported by UncoverDC. The organization collected geospatial and temporal data using cellphone pings and the geofencing of dropbox locations. They collected data in Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Texas. 

Raffensberger ensured that ballot harvesting was outlawed when he "took over in 2019." And in preparation for the 2020 election, the state election board put strict emergency rules to secure absentee ballot drop boxes. The regulations required secure, publicly available government locations, video surveillance, hours of operation, tamper-proof boxes, and collection of ballots from each drop box location at least "once every 24 hours." Georgia law requires counties to preserve the video footage collected at the drop boxes. The regulation states:

"Video recordings of the dropbox locations must be retained by the county registrars for 30 days after the final certification of the election, or until the conclusion of any contest involving an election on the ballot in the county jurisdiction, whichever is later, and shall be made available to Secretary of State investigators upon request."

Raffensberger stated that some counties indicated that they "didn't preserve all their video footage.":

"There has to be accountability. We work with the counties. They know the rules. We aren't trying to do it with harshness, but we also want to make sure that they understand that we are going to come back and we are checking. We want to make sure the administrative code is being followed but also voter confidence because we've been fighting this issue of voter confidence going back to Stacey Abrams [who] talked about voter suppression, saying she lost by 55,000 votes."

John Fredericks appeared on Bannon's War Room broadcast on Wednesday morning. He provided additional information regarding Georgia's alleged ballot harvesting scheme. Fredericks said that allegedly "240 people have been identified" as having participated in the scheme. He also stated that "what turned this [investigation] around [was the fact] that a whistleblower came forward," allegedly at the behest of his mother. The whistleblower allegedly reported that:

"240 of the same people going around the state stuffing ballot drop boxes over and over between 2:00 and 5:00 AM, emptying backpacks of ballots into the drop boxes."

The whistleblower reportedly stated that "he was paid $10 per ballot, making $45,000 (4500 ballots) between the Nov. 3 and January runoff elections." He also reported that his payout was "the average payout" for the job. Fredericks confirmed that True the Vote checked phone records to find the 240 people.

Fredericks also told Bannon that Governor Kemp's office "kicked this out and didn't want anything to do with it, so they had to go with Raffensberger." He stated that this could mean that "$11 million was distributed illegally and about a million ballots were harvested. This is no joke," he concluded.

Multiple groups have closely scrutinized the Georgia 2020 election. Lawsuits have alleged that the election results were fraudulent in Fulton County, Georgia's largest county. Much of the alleged fraud came from issues with the drop boxes.

Garland Favorito's organization, VoterGA, states that the county's hand count was "riddled with massive and provable fraud." The group found evidence of falsified audit tally sheets. VoterGA also found that 74 counties in Georgia were "unable to produce all the original ballot images from the November 2020 election," resulting in about "1.78 million missing original ballot images."

Detailed reporting by Tennessee Star reporter Laura Baigert also allegedly found poor documentation related to chain-of-custody for absentee ballots; documentation that was missing on "at least 140 separate dropbox transfer forms." Baigert also reported 43,000 ballots in DeKalb County allegedly "violated the chain of custody rule."

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