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Ga. election chief Raffensperger in 'coverup mode,' says plaintiff in Fulton Co. vote fraud suit

"If he's trying to intimidate us, it won't work," said Voter GA co-founder Garland Favorito.

Updated: April 8, 2021 - 9:27am

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An attempt by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to block physical inspection of ballots cast in Fulton County, Ga. in the November presidential election is part of an election fraud "coverup," voting integrity activist Garland Favorito charged Tuesday in an interview with Just the News.

In December 2020, Favorito's organization Voter GA filed a suit against the then-chairperson of the Fulton County Board of Elections based on a sudden, implausible spike of 20,000 votes in favor of Joe Biden on election night, along with sworn testimony from hand count auditors who say they saw batches of counterfeit ballots during the county's post-election hand recount. The witnesses cite uncreased ballots, different paper stock, and ballots marked with toner instead of writing implements as reasons for their suspicions. 

Based on the affidavits and other evidence, the judge in the case found probable cause to conditionally unseal the county's ballots for a forensic audit. Voter GA was given until March 25 to submit a plan to the judge detailing what the audit would look like — which experts they were going to use, where the audit would take place, etc.

Last week, Raffensperger, who is not a party to the suit, filed an amicus brief in an attempt to block the effort to unseal and examine the ballots. a Republican who has resisted demands by former President Donald Trump and others to investigate claims of vote-counting mischief in the state's 2020 presidential vote,

In the months following the November election, Raffensperger unbendingly defended the validity of the ballots cast in Georgia. In the process, he emerged as a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump, who repeatedly told Raffensperger that if his office scrutinized the ballots in Fulton County, they would find election cheating.

Favorito believes Raffensperger filed his amicus brief because Trump is right, and the secretary of state has something to hide. Raffensperger is "in coverup mode," alleged Favorito. "There's nothing new in this brief that concerns us. What concerns us is that we have a secretary of state who doesn't believe in election integrity."

In his brief, Raffensperger cites Georgia's new election security bill, signed into law by Republican Governor Brian Kemp on March 25, as allowing the "public disclosure of ballot images, but not ballots," meaning the auditors would have access to digital images of the ballots, created by the tabulation machines, but not the physical ballots themselves.

"In creating this limited exception, the General Assembly expressed its clear intent to only allow public disclosure of ballot images while maintaining the confidentiality of ballots from public," asserts the secretary of state's brief.

The Raffensperger filing goes on to warn that, even if the judge were to permit the audit of the physical ballots, it would be a felony for anyone who is not the officer charged with handling the ballots to touch them.

"[A]ny legal challenges to the results of the 2020 general are also moot," claims the brief, "as the results of that election have already been tabulated, audited by hand count, recounted by machine tabulation, and were certified by the secretary of state on November 20, 2020, who has the sole authority to certify election results" under Georgia law.

"The public interest would not be served by allowing Petitioners to undergo an unlawful fishing expedition into sealed ballots in their attempt to undermine the results of the general election," continues the brief.

Raffensperger insists that his brief does not prevent an audit, emphasizing his support for the release of ballot images, as opposed to actual ballots.

"Unfortunately, some in the media are mischaracterizing our motion, insinuating that we are preventing an audit, which is false," Raffensperger said in a statement Monday. "The paper ballots have been sealed, and recent updates to the Georgia Open Records Act allow for the public disclosure for ballot images only (not ballots)."

"There's nothing in that bill that would prevent us from looking at ballots," Favorito countered. "That's just complete hogwash."

As for Raffensperger's threat that unauthorized handling of Fulton County ballots could be charged as a felony, Favorito is undeterred. "If he's trying to intimidate us, it's not going to work,” he said. "If the court says we can inspect the ballots, we're going to inspect them."