Subpoenas formally issued for evidence in Georgia ballot trafficking case

Subpoenas ask election integrity group True the Vote and its researchers to turn over identities of ballot harvesters, John Doe whistleblower and suspected funding arms for 2020 ballot trafficking operation.

Updated: April 25, 2022 - 9:38pm

In a major escalation, Georgia election regulators have issued four subpoenas demanding the identity of a John Doe whistleblower and other evidence concerning an alleged ballot trafficking operation in the 2020 election, Just the News has learned.

Delivered late last week to the election integrity watchdog True the Vote, its founder Catherine Engelbrecht and its researchers, the subpoenas seek evidence that backs up the group's complaint last November alleging that as many as 242 people illegally gathered third-party ballots during the battleground state's November 2020 election and subsequent U.S. Senate races, according to documents obtained by Just the News under a state open records request.

The evidence being sought by the State Elections Board and the Secretary of State's office includes the names, identities and phone records of people True the Vote believes were involved in trafficking ballots. That includes the identity of a man the group said admitted he participated in the ballot trafficking scheme and was paid $10 for each ballot he collected and delivered to ballot drop boxes.

The subpoenas seek "the identity and contact information of the several individuals regarding personal knowledge, methods, and organizations involved in ballot trafficking in Georgia referenced in the Complaint and any recordings, transcripts, summaries, testimony, statements, witness interviews, notes or other documents describing what those individuals said."

That includes the identity of the whistleblower Engelbrecht's group interviewed and "all statements John Doe made regarding his alleged participation in ballot harvesting in Georgia." The subpoena also sought contact information for John Doe's mother and any evidence of whether True the Vote paid any of his medical bills.

You can read the subpoena here:

The subpoena, signed by acting State Elections Board chairman Matt Mashburn, also appears to target any information the group and its researcher have about the funding streams for the alleged ballot harvesting scheme.

It seeks the identities of the "network of non-governmental organizations that worked together to facilitate a ballot trafficking scheme in Georgia" as well as any information about 10 "hubs" the group alleged coordinated the ballot trafficking.

Ballot harvesting, the act of gathering other voter's ballots, is expressly prohibited in Georgia and many other key election states. On Monday, a new complaint was filed in Green Bay, Wisc., alleging such harvesting occurred in that state's primary election earlier this month.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger originally disclosed the existence of the Georgia harvesting investigation in a January interview with Just the News. In 2019, he led an effort to ensure state law expressly prohibited harvesting, and he told Just the News he believes the probe could lead to criminal charges and the identity of the funding streams for the alleged operation.

Raffensperger is now pushing for a nationwide ban on ballot harvesting.

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