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Roughly 43,000 absentee ballot counted in DeKalb County in 2020 violated chain of custody rule

More than 70% of the 61,731 absentee ballots put in drop boxes were counted, certified despite violating chain of custody requirements.

Updated: August 30, 2021 - 9:55am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

More than 70% of the 61,731 absentee ballots put in drop boxes in the November 2020 presidential election in DeKalb County, Georgia, were counted and certified by officials, despite violating chain of custody requirements.

The exact number of ballots was 43,907, according to the Georgia State News. The ballots were counted and certified by county and state officials, the news outlet says.

The chain of custody requirements are set forth in Georgia Emergency Rule 183-1-14-1.8-.14, put into effect by the Georgia State Election Board in July 2020.

The rule states absentee ballots placed in drop boxes "shall be immediately transported to the county registrar" by the two-person collection team. The team is required to sign a ballot-transfer form indicating the number of ballots picked up, the time the ballots were picked up and the location of the drop box.

The rule also states the county registrar or a designee “thereof shall sign the ballot transfer form upon receipt of the ballots from the collection team."

The Georgia Star News obtained from the DeKalb County law department 725 absentee ballot dropbox transfer forms used in the election in the county to document the chain of custody of the 61,731 absentee ballots, in response to an open records request.

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