Republican officials in Georgia have sounded the alarm over “issues” pertaining to the ordered presidential election recount and audit in the Peach State.
As noted by GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Thursday, state Republicans say the protocols for the audit do not include signature review, and the timeline for Georgia counties is set to expire on Friday at 5 p.m., when the deadline for voter certification is not until Nov. 20.
“Why have Georgia counties been told to certify results by 5pm tomorrow (before the recount is finished)?” McDaniel questioned. “Why isn’t signature review part of the process? If the SOS’s (secretary of state) stated goal is to ‘build public confidence,’ these issues need to be addressed.”
Why have Georgia counties been told to certify results by 5pm tomorrow (before the recount is finished)?
Why isn’t signature review part of the process?
If the SOS’s stated goal is to “build public confidence,” these issues need to be addressed. https://t.co/FymosDWPFO
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) November 13, 2020
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Wednesday that there will be an audit and full hand recount of votes in the state for the 2020 presidential election. Currently, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump in the Peach State by about 14,000 votes.
Georgia GOP Chairman David Shafer and Representative Doug Collins wrote a letter addressed to Raffensperger outlining their concerns.
“You stated yesterday that the process would be ‘an audit, a recount and a recanvass all at once’ and would help ‘build public confidence,'” the letter says, as reported by CBS46. “However, the training and directives issued today do not comport with your stated goals yesterday and do not satisfy our concerns that gave rise to our request for a hand count in the first place.”
As reported by the news station, the letter includes the following “issues”:
- The audit does not include a review of signatures on absentee ballot applications and ballot envelopes to confirm the validity of the statutory signature verification process by the counties.
- We have concerns about meaningful access to the auditing process by our designated monitors. Your office announced today that the state parties can designate only one reviewer for every 10 audit teams. That makes it impossible for hand count decisions to be reviewed in real time.
- We are very troubled by the directive issued today that counties must certify their results by 5:00 P.M. tomorrow. Given that the audit and recount will necessarily still be ongoing, it is completely improper for counties to be directed to certify the accuracy of the results before the audit and hand count are completed.
- We had expected to receive by yesterday the parameters for the hand count in order to provide sufficient time to the public of the process to be followed. However, your training and guidance were issued only within the last few hours and the counties are directed to start the audit tomorrow.
- The security of the paper ballots is critically important. Aside from a single passing reference about security during today’s training, the Secretary of State’s office provided no substantive guidance regarding the necessity of maintaining the security of the ballots, the transporting of ballots, and documenting the chain of custody as required by law.
“We appreciate your decision to proceed with the hand count as well as your public commitment to transparency and openness. The purpose of this letter is to identify the ways in which the announced process is counter to that intended purpose,” the pair say.