The Georgia Secretary of State Office is charging David Belle Isle, a Republican challenging Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) in next year’s election, more than $100,000 and a wait time of more than half a year to receive election records Belle Isle formally requested from Raffensperger’s office.
In emails obtained by Breitbart News, Raffensperger’s office assessed Belle Isle’s open records request would cost a combined total of $105,897 and an estimated 230 business days to accommodate, and that — even with the cost and timeframe — his office would not be able to meet all of Belle Isle’s demands.
Additionally, 230 business days from the time of the secretary of state emails means the office’s response would not come until early June, two weeks after next year’s secretary of state primary election, which is slated for May 24, 2022.
Belle Isle, who is a former mayor of Alpharetta, told Breitbart News the expense is “unreasonable” and the timeline is “laughable.” He assessed it would take the average Georgian nearly three and a half years to pay the $105,897.
“What we’re asking for is what any reasonable person, certainly in [Raffensperger’s] shoes, should have already looked at to determine whether or not to investigate further in Georgia’s elections and determine whether they’re actually secured or if there’s fraud that needs to be found and eliminated,” Belle Isle said. “We’re not asking unusual questions or anything that someone in his position shouldn’t already be in search of.”
Belle Isle in June requested, per a formal Open Records Request, items such as chain of custody documents for drop boxes and surveillance video footage. The full list of Belle Isle’s requests, filed on June 18, is as follows:
1. From the General Election held on November 3, 2020 (hereinafter “2020 General Election”), all written or recorded reports, complaints, requests for investigation, regarding signatures of electors on absentee ballots, envelopes, or voter registration for Fulton, Cobb, Dekalb, and Clayton counties;2. All reports, records, transfer documents, custody documents, memoranda, notes, written or recorded statements, and any other document or relevant correspondence concerning all chain-of-custody records for every absentee ballot drop box authorized in Georgia for the 2020 General Election;3. All surveillance videos of every authorized absentee ballot drop box utilized during the 2020 General Election;4. All correspondence, both paper and electronic, received by negotiation or otherwise by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office in exchange for the Secretary’s consent to the March 6, 2020 Compromise Settlement Agreement And Release in the lawsuit between Democratic Party of Georgia, Inc. (“DPG”), the DSCC, and the DCCC), as Plaintiff, and Brad Raffensperger, Rebecca N. Sullivan, David J. Worley, Seth Harp, and Anh Le, as Defendants.5. All surveillance videos of the Georgia World Congress Center for the dates of November 3, 2020, and November 4, 2020.6. All reports, records, and tabulations of absentee ballots received by the Secretary of State’s office during the 2020 General Election.7. All reports, records, and tabulations of absentee ballots envelopes received by the Secretary of State’s office during the 2020 General Election.8. All official correspondence to and from the Secretary of State, both paper and electronic, to and from Dominion Voting Systems (hereinafter “Dominion”) or any person associated with Dominion regarding the 2020 General Election.9. All correspondence, both paper and electronic, regarding any of the following: (1) all official audits of the Dominion ballot marking devices (hereinafter referred to as “BMD”); (2) any relationship between Dominion and Pro V&V; (3) the number of BMDs examined by the Secretary of State; and (4) the extent to which such BMDs were examined.10. To the extent not previously requested herein, each and every document pertaining to all reports prepared by any expert or election official regarding: (1) the accuracy and performance of BMDs and (2) all reports of any person who investigated BMDs or absentee ballots for the 2020 General Election.
The Secretary of State Office emailed responses to the request on June 23, detailing what it could and could not provide and assessing a cost of $42,238.50 and a required $500 deposit for the records it could provide. The office gave no breakdown of the costs.
Belle Isle told Breitbart News he submitted a follow-up list of requests on June 29 in an attempt to request more specific items, which would then therefore elicit more specific responses from the Secretary of State Office, and the office again replied with an email on July 1, detailing what it could and could not provide and assessing a cost of $63,658.50 and a required $500 deposit. The office again gave no breakdown of costs.
Both responses gave the timeframe of 230 business days.
Asked if the two costs could overlap if Belle Isle’s two separate requests produced any similar or duplicate responses, Belle Isle’s team said it does not read the costs as overlapping and that even if there were any overlap, the lack of transparency about the costs provides no way of knowing.
The Secretary of State Office did not immediately respond to Breitbart News with a request for clarification on the two costs.
Belle Isle also said his office is not in a position to pay $105,897. “We’re just going to have to be able to find it through other means. We’re not willing to put up 100-something-thousand dollars and wait till after the election to see it through,” he said. “We’re not even sure what the quality of information he would produce [would be] at that point anyways. But what we’re clearly seeing is a pattern of obstructing the truth. … There’s been a roadblock at every single turn and that’s got to stop.”
Belle Isle and Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) are both seeking to unseat Raffensperger next year over their overall dissatisfaction with his handling of the 2020 election. The race is expected to be a high-profile and heated contest after Georgia became a focal point for election integrity following shocking and narrow Democrat wins in the 2020 presidential race and January Senate runoffs.
Belle Isle on his campaign website maps out his election-related priorities, which read, “Ditch Dominion,” “Defeat voter fraud,” “Restore voter confidence,” and “Champion fair and provable elections.”
Write to Ashley Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org.