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Georgia election board reprimands Fulton County for scanning error in 2020 recount

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  vic-eldred  •  2 weeks ago  •  7 comments

By:   ajc

Georgia election board reprimands Fulton County for scanning error in 2020 recount
The State Election Board reprimanded Fulton County and ordered an independent election monitor Tuesday, finding that the county likely scanned over 3,

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


The State Election Board reprimanded Fulton County and ordered an independent election monitor Tuesday, finding that the county likely scanned over 3,000 ballots twice during the recount of the 2020 presidential election.

The decision, on a 2-1 vote, resolves one of the last remaining investigations of the 2020 election, drawing jeers from a crowd of Republican voters who wanted more severe punishment against the Democratic county.

The case exposed errors in Fulton's 2020 recount but didn't indicate any fraud in the election, which Democrat Joe Biden won by a 11,779-vote margin in Georgia over Republican Donald Trump. Three vote counts — two by machine and one by hand — each showed similar results.

Election investigators said they were unable to confirm that the double-scanned ballots were actually counted twice in the recount, which was the official result of the election. During the recount, Trump gained 939 net votes against Biden in Fulton County, where Biden received 73% support, according to the results.

The Houston County voter who brought the complaint, Joe Rossi, said the investigation shows that the 2020 election was flawed, both during the recount and the hand audit of all 5 million votes cast. The State Election Board last year found that thousands of votes were double-counted or misallocated during an audit in Fulton.

"It has now been factually proven that both the hand audit, which is really, really important, and the certified machine count, have both been found to be in violation of Georgia election law," Rossi told the board. "I'll close with one word: vindicated."

But state election officials said the election was accurate and all votes were counted.

"As long as we have the paper ballot, we have the paper trail that accurately reports the voter's choice," said Charlene McGowan, general counsel for the secretary of state's office. "Fulton County used improper procedures during the recount of the presidential contest of 2020. The investigation shows there are some duplicative ballot images in the ballot images that Fulton County provided, but what cannot be confirmed conclusively is if those ballots were included in the count."

The investigation is the latest example of Fulton's errors in recent elections, which the county said it has fixed.

The State Election Board reprimanded Fulton in February for an initial failure to count 1,326 votes that weren't loaded from memory cards during the 2022 primary. The county election board corrected the error and recertified the election in June 2022.

The board voted against a state takeover of Fulton's elections operations last year, concluding that the county had made improvements to election operations during a two-year performance review.

"Fulton County's performance during the 2020 elections has been exhaustively scrutinized, but the results, confirmed by three different counts, have not changed. Nor has there been any evidence of fraud or malfeasance," county spokeswoman Jessica Corbitt said. "Since the 2020 election, Fulton County has hired a new director, implemented numerous procedural updates and invested in a new elections headquarters. It has conducted six elections, and independent monitors have noted improvement.

The board voted to dismiss several other complaints against Fulton, including allegations that the county improperly added 16,000 votes to its count before certifying the election and that the county couldn't provide digital images for nearly 18,000 ballots.

An election investigator said the county loaded vote counts correctly, and the absence of ballot pictures doesn't mean the count is inaccurate. After the 2020 election, the Georgia General Assembly passed a law making ballot images public records that must be retained.

State Election Board member Janice Johnston said she wasn't convinced by investigators' explanations, and she voted against the motion for a reprimand.

"Either the votes should be invalidated or the paper ballots should be investigated to verify their authenticity," Johnston said. "There's no way this election or recount should have been certified."

Board member Ed Lindsey said the case should be resolved by greater accountability in this year's elections, and Fulton has indicated it would agree to install an election monitor.

If Fulton doesn't hire a monitor for this year's general election as requested by the board, Lindsey threatened to reopen the investigation at its next meeting in July.

"There is clear evidence that in 2020 there were numerous violations of regulations and statutes, and the county has acknowledged that," Lindsey said. "My purpose here is not to let it ride but to move this matter forward so we can have some assurances going into the 2024 election.


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Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    2 weeks ago

It is far too late to figure it out.

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
2  Sparty On    2 weeks ago

We’ve been told for over three years this isn’t possible so it can’t be true.

Can’t be ……..

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
3  Ronin2    2 weeks ago
An election investigator said the county loaded vote counts correctly, and the absence of ballot pictures doesn't mean the count is inaccurate. After the 2020 election, the Georgia General Assembly passed a law making ballot images public records that must be retained.

I am sure every last vote was counted. Correctly- prove it. Oh wait, they can't.

Funny how when this type of thing happens it is always to the benefit of Democrats.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Expert
4  Jeremy Retired in NC    2 weeks ago

This is made even more laughable by the county and state this is happening in.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Expert
5  Nerm_L    2 weeks ago

How can an election board screw up three separate vote counts?  Which certification are voters supposed to believe?  This fish doesn't pass the smell test.

In the end it really doesn't matter because the issue won't tickle the needle of public opinion.  Fani Willis has followed Biden's lead and botched up the whole thing for everybody.  There's so many discrepancies, half-truths, and political hype coming from all sides that voters are just going to ignore it as just more worthless politics. 

When all sides are lying then the electorate loses interest in finding truth.  Whaddya expect when lawyers are involved?  

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
5.1  Sparty On  replied to  Nerm_L @5    2 weeks ago

As long as the fox is the one counting the hens in the hen house, the count will never be 100% reliable.

 
 
 
George
Junior Expert
6  George    2 weeks ago

Biden in his latest “gaffe” has now upgraded the illegals crossing our southern border from “guests” to Hispanic voters.

 
 

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