The Georgia GOP, Tea Party Patriots, and the Trump campaign believe Georgia’s recount is lacking several key components to ensure accuracy and credibility.
On Wednesday, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) announced a “full, by-hand recount in each county” in the Peach State, stressing that such a move would “help build confidence” in the state’s final election results. Raffensperger described it as a “heavy lift” as the process would involve an audit, recount, and recanvass “all at once.”
A few key players, however, have expressed concern over the process presented by Raffensperger, contending that it lacks certain, essential procedures, such as verifying signature matches on absentee ballots:
— GAGOP (@GaRepublicans) November 12, 2020
In a Thursday letter to Raffensperger, David Shafer of the Georgia Republican Party and Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), who is leading the Trump campaign’s recount effort in the Peach State, stressed that “the training and directives … do not comport” with Raffensperger’a “stated goals yesterday and do not satisfy our concerns that gave rise to our request for a hand count in the first place.”
First and foremost, the Trump allies noted that the audit does not include a review of signatures on absentee ballot applications and ballot envelopes.
“Our analysis of your office’s publicly available data shows that the number of rejected absentee ballots in Georgia plummeted from 3.5% in 2018 to 0.3% in 2020,” the letter read:
In 2018, when 230,000 absentee ballots were cast, 3.5% were rejected for signature mismatches or other reasons. In 2020, when more than 1.2 million absentee ballots were cast, the rejection rate fell to 0.3%. Did the massive increase in ballots overwhelm the verification process? https://t.co/usBShRNGhx
— David Shafer (@DavidShafer) November 13, 2020
“This raises serious concerns as to whether the counties properly conducted signature verification and/or other scrutiny of absentee ballots. In fact, it presents the issue of whether some counties conducted any scrutiny at all,” the letter continued, categorizing a signature review as “fundamental to this procedure.”
“We do not believe it is possible to certify the results of the 2020 General Election without conducting this investigation and analysis,” they added.
Tea Party Patriots Action Honorary Chairman Jenny Beth Martin expressed similar concerns, calling on the secretary of state to “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”:
Simply recounting ballots does not tell whether we are counting LEGAL ballots.
— Jenny Beth Martin (@jennybethm) November 13, 2020
Shafer and Collins are also demanding “meaningful” access to the auditing process by “designated monitors,” noting the announcement that 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. One designated monitor cannot observe ten tables at once. Transparency has been a very significant problem during this election,” they said in the letter.
They also take issue with the state’s certification deadline and requested a delay in the commencement of the process until Monday, November 16, 2020, “in order to provide ample public notice in every county of the commencement and details of the audit.”
The key players added Raffensperger failed to offer guidance on the “necessity of maintaining the security of the ballots, the transporting of ballots, and documenting the chain of custody as required by law.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) on Wednesday announced that the state will conduct a “by-hand recount in each county” in the Peach State. https://t.co/4sUfy58XZC
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) November 12, 2020
Tea Party Patriots Action listed the same concerns in a Friday statement.
“As it stands now, neither campaign will be satisfied with the current process,” Tea Party Patriots Action’s Jenny Beth Martin said.
President Trump trailed Joe Biden (D) in Georgia by 14,163 votes as of Friday morning.