Controversy still abounds over the dubious 2020 Presidential election results despite attempts by big tech and the “lamestream” media to bury the issue of election fraud. However, real Election Integrity reforms are being held hostage by Democrats and Republicans. They are trying to use it to gain more power by legislating themselves election advantages. On the national level, Democrats created HR1 with a variety of election provisions, (some unconstitutional), all in an attempt to gain permanent control of the American government. Although details of these are outside the scope of our Georgia Election Integrity Series, we are compelled to point out that most of the provisions benefit Democrats, not American voters.
Likewise, on the state level, Georgia Republican leadership is taking a similar tack in trying to consolidate their power with two omnibus bills and a dozen more pieces of legislation, much of which benefit Republicans but not Georgia voters. In fairness, there are some good provisions along with the bad ones in the omnibus bills but as we explained in our 4th installment of our Georgia Election Integrity Series, neither prevents the election fraud that likely occurred in the November 3rd, 2020 General Election. That is the ugly part of both bills. Specifically, here are some examples of the good, the bad and the ugly in the omnibus bills sponsored by the Georgia Republican leadership.
Mobile Precinct Limitations:
Mobile precincts are limited to the emergency replacement of inoperable precincts by SB241. That is a good thing since they appeared to be a potential source of fraud in Fulton County as the mobile precincts travelled around collecting ballots at different locations.
Private Election Funding Elimination:
HB531 proposes to eliminate private funding of elections which was allowed under Secretary of State (SOS) Brad Raffensperger. This funding by individuals with political agendas disproportionally benefited certain counties with demographic areas that were aligned with those agendas. An often-used example is the millions of funds spent on certain county election operations by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook has a rather blatant political agenda of suppression that interfered with the 2020 elections. This is a direct violation of the equal protection clauses of the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions.
Moving Drop Boxes to Within Early Voting Locations:
HB531 proposes to restrict ballot drop boxes to early voting locations. The drop boxes that were implemented by SOS Raffensperger were a horribly bad idea that facilitated ballot harvesting by political operatives in the 2020 election. The boxes were not distributed equally among counties and further violated equal protection clauses of the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions. Money was spent not only on the drop boxes but on video cameras for surveillance. A Gwinnett Co. resident was told it would cost $15,000 to get the Gwinnett video recordings. He engaged the Attorney General’s office and spent two months trying to acquire them. Fulton Co. told him he would have to show up in person to view their recordings and DeKalb Co. never responded to his request.
Restricting Vote by Mail to seniors, disabled or absentees
SB241 proposes to eliminate Georgian’s right to vote by mail unless the voter is a senior, disabled or can document in advance that they will be absent on Election Day. The bill would force all other Georgia voters to vote on a system that accumulates votes hidden in the current QR Codes that are 100% unverifiable to the voter. This proposal will also waste more taxpayer money defending lawsuits filed by those who want to vote by mail.
Prohibiting Hand Count Audits
HB531 prohibits the SOS from extending an election certification deadline when it may be necessary to accomplish a hand count audit. While the hand count audit of the 2020 Presidential election was fatally flawed for reasons discussed in our 3rd installment, the concept is still critical to election integrity. Such an anti-audit provision is a direct assault on the election integrity needed in Georgia.
Empowering the State Election Board (SEB) to Remove County Elections Directors
SB241 empowers the SEB to remove a county Elections Director who was appointed by a sovereign county Elections Board. SOS Raffensperger, who chairs the board has already attempted and succeeded in terminating several Election Directors who were whistleblowers or otherwise blamed for Dominion system problems.
But, the ugly part of the omnibus bills is that they do not prevent the fraud that likely occurred in the 2020 General Election. The same is true for a dozen other election bills that wound their way through the Senate Rules Committee in hopes of making it to the Senate floor on Crossover Day. That includes SB62, SB69, SB71, SB72, SB74, SB93, SB141, SB178, SB232, SB240 and SB253. None of these bills accomplish election transparency, a goal that Republicans, Democrats and independent Georgia voters can easily agree on. To do this, as we explained in our 3rd installment, the legislation must:
- Make Ballots publicly available
- Require counties to make ballot images publicly available for scanning and forensic exams
- Require counties to allow election management systems to be imaged for forensic exams
Only House Bill 659 proposed any type of significant transparency reforms. That bill died in the committee chaired by the author of HB531 and HB316. That chairman, Barry Fleming, has resisted transparency initiatives since chairing the SAFE Voting System Commission three years ago as also explained in our 3rd installment. So far, Fleming and many other legislators have been unable to muster the integrity to make Georgia elections more transparent and Georgia election officials more accountable to the voters.