Georgia: How Secretary Raffensperger Got Played

The saga of the 2020 Georgia General Election continues as late Sunday night, Judge Timothy Batten impounded all Dominion Voting Machines (DVM) in the state of Georgia for ten days. Many Republicans feel betrayed by Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s certification of the vote. Not all Republicans are as forthright as President Trump, who openly declared when talking to reporters on Thanksgiving Day that Raffensperger “got played” by Democrat powerhouse Stacey Abrams.

Is this true? Did Secretary of State Raffensperger get played?

While Abrams is at the center of the powerplay, she’s not the only powerful female Democrat behind the dramatic changes in how absentee ballots are handled in the state of Georgia. Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Senator Nikema Williams (D-GA) and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), through their organizations Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC, Bustos, IL), Democratic Party of Georgia (DPG, Williams, GA), and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC, Masto, NV) were at the forefront of a lawsuit filed in 2019 and won in March of this year against Secretary of State Raffensperger and the Georgia Board of Elections that changed how absentee ballots are handled in the state of Georgia.

  1. The Democratic Party not only launched a legal campaign to push through legislation that gave voters time to fix rejected absentee ballot applications but they also organized an apparatus to “save” rejected ballots through volunteer “Ballot rescue phone callers.”

The settlement of that lawsuit gave voters time to fix rejected ballots and required election officials to inform voters whose ballots were rejected within three business days. Even though the onus is on election officials in the agreement, the actual reality of who prevents those ballots from being rejected is not always election officials. For example, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee directly links to the Georgia Democrats’ “Join the Voter Protection Team!” webpage, where an individual can find out how to volunteer to become a “Ballot rescue phone caller” to “help fix any issues when trying to cast their vote,” including issues with absentee ballot applications, absentee ballots, casting a ballot, etc. etc. There remains a question as to whether such actions violate the equal protection clause which guarantees every individual’s right to vote regardless of party affiliation. Since this “ballot rescue” operation is viewable on the Georgia Democrats website, it seems logical to assume that these volunteers would not be reaching out to “rescue” a Republican absentee voter’s ballot, only a Democrat.

  1. Stacey Abrams’ organization Fair Fight pushed through legislation that compelled Georgia to accept email absentee ballot applications and to weaken the verification process in the email ballot applications.

The second part of the all-female Democratic Party cabal’s strategy was through Stacey Abrams’ organization Fair Fight when in July of this year, Abrams launched a successful campaign to compel all counties in Georgia to accept email applications for absentee ballots. That changed not only how absentee ballot applications are submitted but also how they are verified. Unlike the paper absentee ballot applications that require a signature, online absentee ballot applications require voters to provide either a driver’s license or another ID number to confirm their identity. In theory, then, an individual who knows the driver’s license number of the person who is ostensibly submitting the ballot could falsely submit an application and would very likely not be caught. There is also a security issue related to the reception of these emails as it opens the door for many individuals to be looking at the application itself, where it’s clearly stated whether the voter is Republican or Democrat. (Here is a PDF of the official Georgia absentee ballot application.)

  1. The Democratic Party pushed through overly complicated procedures for how to reject a ballot because of voter signature discrepancies. This together with the massive increase in absentee ballots created a situation where ballot applications and ballots were just not verified.

Finally, the lawsuit settlement in March required more thorough procedures before election officials can reject a ballot because of voter signature discrepancies. The settlement stipulates that a majority of the county officials reviewing the absentee ballots must not only agree that the signatures don’t match but that they also must compare the signature with all the signatures that they have on file.

This is an absurd requirement. According to the Secretary of State’s office, there were 1,322,529 absentee ballots cast in the General Election this year in Georgia. There were close to 1.8 million absentee ballot applications submitted this year. The Democratic organizations that concocted this lawsuit never could have imagined how perfectly this term of the settlement would work in their favor.

According to Sidney Powell’s complaint filed just before Thanksgiving against Raffensperger, Kemp, and the Georgia Board of Elections, only 0.00167% of absentee ballot application signatures were rejected. That is only thirty absentee ballot application signatures rejected out of almost 1.8 million absentee ballot applications received. According to that document, only .15% of absentee ballot signatures were rejected. (See Section 180, p. 85 of Sidney Powell’s PDF).  The Secretary of State’s office has not yet released the numbers of total rejections in absentee ballots or absentee ballot applications.

Perhaps they don’t want to release those numbers because it is just too easy to compare them to the 6.4% rate of rejection in the 2016 General Election. According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, only 13,677 of the 213,033 total absentee ballots submitted were thrown out. (See 2016 Election Administration and Voting Survey, Table 2, pg. 23). Nonetheless, it is still relatively clear that the total number of absentee ballots has increased more than 600% since 2016 (213,033 in 2016 vs. 1,322,529 in 2020) and the total number of rejected signatures is negligible in comparison.

These loosened restrictions on how to apply for an absentee ballot and how to verify one’s identity on an email ballot application, together with the tightened requirements for when absentee ballots can be thrown out (multiple election officials judging, and cross-verification with all signatures on file), together with the expanded number of absentee ballots cast (a more than 600% increase from 2016) and the security issues related to absentee ballot applications transmitted via email, created a system that was rife for fraud.

So, yes, in answer to the question, yes, Trump is right: Secretary Raffensperger “got played,” and Trump supporters are the ones now dealing with the fallout.  

Anne-Christine Hoff is a proud American whose father lived through the Nazi occupation of Austria. She considers the big lies being peddled today as dangerous as the ones peddled during the 1930s and 40s Nazi period. Her work has appeared in New English Review, American Thinker, Middle East Quarterly, and LifeSite News.  You can also find her political commentary on her YouTube channel Scarlet Pimpernella.

Image: Nydia Tisdale

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