Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp called for a signature audit of mail-in ballots following new testimony that was presented over allegations of voter fraud in his state during a Thursday Fox News interview.
“I think especially [given] what we saw today it raises more questions. There needs to be transparency on that.”
The Republican governor was responding to supposed videotape evidence of ballots being counted without oversight that was presented Thursday to a Georgia Senate Judiciary subcommittee, WGCL-TV reported.
The video from Fulton County allegedly shows people taking four boxes of ballots from underneath a table and counting them without required election monitors present.
“The same person that stayed behind, the person that cleared the place out under the pretense that we are going to stop counting is the person who put the table there at 8:22 in the morning,” attorney Jacki Pick said.
“I saw four suitcases come out from underneath the table.”
Caught on candid camera…
Fulton County supervisors in Georgia tell poll workers, press and observers to leave the room…
And then pull out SUITCASES of ballots.
Say it with me… F R A U D.
WHERE IS THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE?”pic.twitter.com/1Nc8cZqGXA
— Rep. Jody Hice (@CongressmanHice) December 3, 2020
Each box was believed to contain about 6,000 ballots, amounting to about 24,000 potential votes in total, according to WGCL.
Kemp called the testimony “concerning.”
“Hopefully, the secretary of state will update us on exactly what was going on,” Kemp said.
“They should be investigating this, I would imagine they already are.”
Jenna Ellis, one of the Trump campaign’s lawyers, responded to Kemp’s interview saying that the campaign has “requested signature verification FIVE TIMES.”
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) December 4, 2020
“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 a November statement.
Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, the Republicans in Georgia’s January runoff, supported the president’s signature-matching demands last month and called for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s resignation.
“I think in the next 24 hours, hopefully, we will see a lot more from the hearings that the legislature had today and we will be able to look and see what the next steps are. That’s where we are now,” Kemp told Ingraham.
But an article on the fact-checking site Lead Stories cast doubt on claims that the video reveals evidence of fraud.
“Two high-level officials with the Georgia secretary of state’s office and a state elections board monitor each told Lead Stories that their investigations revealed nothing suspicious in the video,” Lead Stories reported.
“The officials said the ballots seen in the video were in regular ballot containers — not suitcases — and they had been removed from their envelopes and processed while news media and election observers for the Republican Party and Trump campaign were present,” the outlet added.
“The media and party observers were never told to leave because counting was over for the night, but they apparently followed workers who left once their job of opening envelopes was completed, the chief investigator for the secretary of state told Lead Stories. The observers were free to return at anytime, she said. Georgia law allows observers, but does not require them to be there for ballots to be counted, she said.”
The chief investigator, Frances Watson, told Lead Stories that the ballots were actually in standard containers.
“There wasn’t a bin that had ballots in it under that table. It was an empty bin and the ballots from it were actually out on the table when the media were still there, and then it was placed back into the box when the media were still there and placed next to the table,” she said.
UPDATE, Dec. 4, 2020: This post has been updated to include portions of a story from the fact-checking website Lead Stories that casts doubt on claims that the video reveals evidence of fraud. This post’s headlines have also been updated to remove claims that the ballots had been “hidden,” as there is no evidence that there was an effort to hide them. Finally, the term “suitcase” has been put in quotes in the headlines to reflect the fact that while the containers have been referred to as “suitcases” by attorney Jacki Pick and others, state officials say they were normal ballot containers.
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