Trump-backed Georgia candidate pushes to eliminate drop boxes, machine voting in elections
"I don't think that drop boxes in any situation are necessary," Georgia state Sen. Burt Jones said.
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Georgia State Sen. Burt Jones (R), who has been endorsed by former President Trump, is running for lieutenant governor of his state on a platform of election integrity as he's pushing for the elimination of drop boxes and a return to voting on paper ballots.
Jones told the John Solomon Reports podcast on Tuesday that drop boxes used in the 2020 election were not legal in Georgia, since the state legislature didn't permit them, but the consent decree made between the Democratic Party and state officials allowed them to be used.
While the state legislature legalized drop boxes in the election integrity bill passed earlier this year, a key difference is that the drop boxes must be designated to a precinct, not "spread out all over Metro Atlanta, like they were last time," Jones explained.
"[I]f you can take your absentee ballot to a designated precinct during operational hours, you know, then why do you need the drop box?"Jones asked. "You can just hand it in to the designated attendant for that. And so I don't think that drop boxes in any situation are necessary."
Returning to paper ballots and getting rid of electronic machine voting could make elections more secure, Jones suggests.
"[W]hether there's anything wrong with the machines or not ... I can't sit here and say that the appropriate authorities have examined them," he said. "However, I do know that the electorate do not trust them. And so I think that we need to move towards getting rid of the third-party vendors and the machinery completely, and allow our counties — that have the ability — to go to paper ballots or choose their own equipment themselves, instead of mandating it, like we have right now."
Georgia currently uses Dominion Voting Systems for its elections.
State officials, including many in GOP-run states, have said they have found no evidence of widespread fraud in the November 2020 election that could have altered the outcome. However, several states have acknowledged serious irregularities or unlawful changes to election rules occurred in 2020.
Wisconsin's Supreme Court, for instance, has ruled election regulators unlawfully allowed tens of thousands of absentee voters to skip voter ID checks by claiming they were "indefinitely confined" by the pandemic without suffering from a disability. And Wisconsin's legislative audit bureau found numerous other rule changes were made that were not approved by the state legislature. In Arizona, an audit called into question more than 50,000 ballots cast in the November 2020 election, while in Georgia, state election officials have uncovered such widespread mismanagement in vote counting in Fulton County — the state's largest — that they have begun a process to have the state run future elections in the locality that includes the city of Atlanta.