Poll worker counts ballots

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.

Their issues include:

  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.

The letter continued, "We appreciate your decision to proceed with the hand count as well as your public commitment to transparency and openness. The purpose of this letter is to identify the ways in which the announced process is counter to that intended purpose."

Incumbent Georgia Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler -- both republicans-- are headed to January runoffs. Both senators also demanded Sec. Raffensperger resign after claiming the statewide election process incurred voting irregularities and other fraudulent activities. 

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