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In new twist, Georgia governor urges audit of ballot envelope signatures to look for fraud

Brian Kemp also rallies behind future voter ID enhancements after certifying election results for Biden.

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp
(Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Updated: November 21, 2020 - 10:10pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

After certifying his state's election results, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is now urging his state to conduct an audit comparing the signatures of voter applications and mail-in ballot envelopes to those on the approved voter file to determine if fraud occurred.

Kemp, a Republican, made the appeal to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger during a news conference on Friday.

"It's important to note that this audit only looked at ballots, not the signatures on the absentee applications or the signatures on the ballot envelopes," the governor said. "The Georgians I have heard from are extremely concerned about this, so I encourage Secretary Raffensperger to consider addressing these concerns. It seems simple enough to conduct a sample audit of signatures on the absentee ballot envelopes and compare those to the signatures on applications and on file at the Secretary of State's Office."

The governor sharply criticized the failure of some county clerks after an audit of ballots found thousands that went uncounted.

"It is important for Georgians to know that the vast majority of local election workers did their job well under unprecedented circumstances, and I thank them for their service," he said. "However, it's quite honestly hard to believe that during the audit, thousands of uncounted ballots were found weeks after a razor-thin outcome in a presidential election. This is simply unacceptable. I have heard directly from countless Georgians. They expect better, and they deserve better."

Kemp also rallied around emerging efforts to strengthen voter ID requirements in the aftermath of an election where the Trump campaign is disputing the results in a half dozen states, alleging fraud and misconduct.

"Voters casting their ballots in person must show photo ID, and we should consider applying that same standard to mail-in balloting," he said. 

Kemp certified his state results Friday showing Joe Biden with a narrow victory, but he noted the action, required by the Constitution, "paves the way for the Trump campaign to pursue other legal options and a separate recount if they choose."