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Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger opens probe on 'missing' documents for absentee ballots

The investigations come after Georgia election officials acknowledged missing ballot documents.

Updated: June 16, 2021 - 12:04pm

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has opened an investigation into whether Fulton County has violated state rules in misplacing absentee ballot chain-of-custody documents.

"New revelations that Fulton County is unable to produce all ballot drop box transfer documents will be investigated thoroughly, as we have with other counties that failed to follow Georgia rules and regulations regarding drop boxes. This cannot continue," Raffensperger, a Republican, tweeted Monday after his office opened the investigation. 

However, the size and scope of the investigation or when the state will disclose its findings remains unclear.

Raffensperger's statement and investigation flows a report Monday in the The Georgia Star News in which a state election official acknowledged that absentee ballot chain-of-custody documents were "missing" or "misplaced."

The Star analyzed transfer forms of ballots deposited in drop boxes in the county during the 2020 election. Through open records requests, the newspaper found 385 out of an estimated 1,565 transfer forms were missing. State law requires ballot transfer forms, which are documents signed by ballot collection teams that indicate the date, time, location, and the number of ballots collected from each absentee ballot drop-off location.

The transfer forms purportedly provided chain of custody documentation for 18,901 ballots, 6,000 ballots more than the 12,000 vote margin with which Biden won the state in the 2020 presidential election.

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