A signature audit of absentee ballots in Georgia’s Cobb County did not turn up any instances of fraud, Georgia’s secretary of state announced earlier this week.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said on Tuesday that auditors found “no fraudulent absentee ballots” in Cobb and that county election officials had “a 99.99% accuracy rate in performing correct signature verification procedures.”
“The Secretary of State’s office has always been focused on calling balls and strikes in elections and, in this case, three strikes against the voter fraud claims and they’re out,” Raffensperger said in a statement. “We conducted a statewide hand recount that reaffirmed the initial tally, and a machine recount at the request of the Trump campaign that also reaffirmed the original tally. This audit disproves the only credible allegations the Trump campaign had against the strength of Georgia’s signature match processes.”
Raffensperger approved the signature audit in Cobb County days before approving the same review for every other county across Georgia in line with requests from President Donald Trump and his campaign. The secretary of state approved Cobb’s audit early over “credible allegations that the process was not followed in the June primaries,” according to the release.
“The Secretary of State’s Office partnered with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) to conduct the audit. Of the 150,431 absentee ballots received by Cobb County elections officials during the November elections, the audit ‘reviewed 15,118 ABM ballot oath envelopes from randomly selected boxes,’ or around 10% of the total. The sample size was originally chosen to meet the 99% confidence threshold,” the secretary of state’s office said.
Raffensperger announced a statewide review of signatures on absentee ballots on Dec. 17 after the state finished conducting two statewide recounts.
“We are confident that elections in Georgia are secure, reliable, and effective,” Raffensperger said at the time, announcing the statewide signature audit. “Despite endless lawsuits and wild allegations from Washington, D.C. pundits, we have seen no actual evidence of widespread voter fraud, though we are investigating all credible reports. Nonetheless, we look forward to working with the University of Georgia on this signature match review to further instill confidence in Georgia’s voting systems.”
Trump, who is currently trailing Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden by about 12,000 votes in the state, complained that Georgia’s recounts were unlikely to catch fraud unless they included a review of signatures on absentee ballots.
“President Trump and his campaign continue to insist on an honest recount in Georgia, which has to include signature matching and other vital safeguards. Without signature matching, this recount would be a sham and again allow for illegal votes to be counted,” the Trump campaign said in November prior to the second recount. “If there is no signature matching, this would be as phony as the initial vote count and recount. Let’s stop giving the People false results. There must be a time when we stop counting illegal ballots. Hopefully it is coming soon.”
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