Georgia governor calls for auditing ballot signatures after suspicious counting video emerges
December 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp declared his support for auditing the signatures of mail ballots Thursday evening, amid ongoing national pressure to do more to investigate alleged fraud in the presidential election.
“I called early on for a signature audit. Obviously, the Secretary of State [Brad Raffensperger], per the laws of the Constitution, would have to order that,” Kemp told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. “He has not done that. I think it should be done. Especially after what we saw today. There needs to be transparency on that. Hopefully, in the next 24 hours, we’ll see a lot more.”
“Hopefully, the secretary of state will update us on exactly what was going on,” the governor continued. “I have heard they had a monitor there. I think it would be good for him to come out and say exactly what was going on. But I think this also gives him an opportunity to really look at specifically … the Fulton County recount that’s still going on to make sure that that recount has been done in the right way and that we know if these were ballots, were they counted correctly and if there were signatures on that.”
Kemp’s comments follow the release of a video at a Georgia Senate hearing which President Donald Trump’s legal team says depicts ballots being pulled out from under a table and counted late at night, after the press and Republican observers were sent home.
One of the Trump legal team’s witnesses estimates that the four cases could hold up to 6,000 ballots apiece, for a potential total of 24,000 votes – almost double the margin by which Biden beat President Donald Trump in the state.
A purported “debunking” from “fact-checking” website Lead Stories (which is known for labeling accurate stories as “hoaxes”) quotes several Georgia election officials insisting that the footage on the video is not unusual, and an assurance from Georgia Secretary of State’s Office chief investigator Frances Watson: “Nobody told [reporters or partisan observers] to stay. Nobody told them to leave. Nobody gave them any advice on what they should do. And It [sic] was still open for them or the public to come back in to view at whatever time they wanted to, as long as they were still working.”
Lead Stories also says an unidentified election board monitor claims he was present to watch the work from 11:52 PM until 12:45 AM, after the Trump team says observers were sent away, though his anonymity, including his party affiliation, means his presence does not necessarily refute the claim that Republican observers were sent home.
Further, the “fact-check” does not explain the discrepancy between Walton’s claims and original reporting from Election Night, such as an ABC News report that Fulton County public affairs manager for elections Regina Waller confirmed “that the election department sent the State Farm Arena absentee ballot counters home at 10:30 p.m.,” ostensibly due to a burst water pipe.
Georgia has become a focal point for the battle over election fraud, due in large part to alleged deficiencies in the state’s signature-matching procedures, and partly due to the fact that two of its races, which will decide control of the U.S. Senate, have yet to be decided. Kemp faces intense national pressure to call a special session of the state legislature to address election fraud, in hopes of both flipping the state for Trump and shoring up potential vulnerabilities to fraud in time for the Senate runoff elections on January 5.