For the past several months the office of Georgia Secretary of State (SOS) Brad Raffensperger has been quietly investigating whistle blowers who believe they detected potential fraud in the November 2020 election. That’s right. The Raffensperger’s Inspector General office has an active investigation into the key witnesses who testified before the Georgia General Assembly and signed affidavits for the exhibits of the Fulton County ballot inspection lawsuit! These witnesses swore they detected potentially counterfeit ballots in the Fulton County hand count audit that occurred on November 14th and 15th. They also observed a variety of other anomalies.
The November 2020 election was certified by December 11th and Raffensperger told the Wall Street Journal on December 12th, 2020 that: “November’s election was the most secure in history. In Georgia, there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud and no significant issues with absentee ballots.” Of course, none of that is true. Reports of many counterfeit mail-in ballots, thousands of missing test ballots, several Dominion voting system malfunctions, numerous missing chain of custody forms, major hand count audit errors and even foreign interference into Georgia county election servers have dominated the news.
While Raffensperger continues to insist there is no evidence of election fraud he also continues to investigate potential election fraud AFTER the election was certified. SOS Investigator Paul Braun has contacted virtually all the key affiants in the Fulton County ballot inspection case and attempted to interview them. However, they contend that he did not seem interested in finding potential fraud but was more interested investigating them. Some examples follow.
Susan Voyles, a veteran poll manager and auditor, swore she saw mail-in ballots that were not folded for mailing, were not marked with a writing instrument, were on questionable paper stock and were voted the exact same way in all down ballot races. She states that the number of these potentially counterfeit ballots could scale into the tens of thousands. She has explained repeatedly that she was contacted by Braun who asked her to come in for an interview in January. When she got there Braun tried to get information about specific suspect batches that were already named in her affidavit and he pressed her to change her story. Later the IG office falsely claimed that Voyles recanted her affidavit. That was a blatant lie as Voyles has consistently stated the same account of events for nearly eight months.
Barbara Hartman, another senior poll manager and auditor who signed a sworn affidavit corroborating Voyles‘ affidavit, was contacted by Braun and interviewed for over an hour. When she asked what was the purpose of his investigation, Braun told her he “…was only collecting information but he does not know what the office will do with it.” Hartman confirmed that Braun contacted her again this week trying to obtain photographs of suspect ballots. Ironically, this new found interest in potential election fraud comes over six months after the election was certified.
Scott Hall and his wife were audit monitors at the Fulton hand count audit. He signed a sworn affidavit corroborating Voyles and Hartman’s affidavits. His wife also signed an affidavit that she observed suspect ballot boxes marked almost exclusively with votes for Joe Biden. Braun startled Hall’s wife by sending a Columbia County deputy to their home near Augusta to tell Hall he wanted to interview him. By then, Hall had learned of Braun’s treatment of Voyles. He called Braun to say he would not be talking with him.
Bridget Thorne, a poll manager and Dominion tech also signed a sworn affidavit. She noted the undetermined whereabouts of hundreds of emergency ballots that were never delivered to her precinct. She also explained the lack of security for thousands of test ballots that were printed prior to the election at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC). The chain of custody breeches and Fulton’s inability to locate those test ballots means they could have been wrongfully introduced into the election results.
Thorne summed up her interview with Braun: ”I felt I was defending myself and he was investigating me.” Nevertheless, Thorne phoned him back and even offered to meet him at the GWCC warehouse where the test ballots were stored to explain everything she saw. Although Braun claimed to be collecting information about potential fraud in Fulton County, he declined to go. She then asked: “Are you investigating me or investigating my claims?”
Braun also contacted Garland Favorito, VoterGA co-founder and a lead plaintiff in the Fulton Co. ballot inspection lawsuit. He gave us a full statement about his experience with Braun to make sure we got it right: “I tried to be helpful in the beginning and answer a couple of his questions but it quickly became obvious he didn’t care about potential fraud. Instead, he was attempting to trap me into embellishing one of my affidavits with potentially inaccurate information so he could accuse me of perjury. I explained to him that the election was certified months ago and the Secretary of State was on record as stating that there was no election fraud. That meant there was no other purpose for his call other than to build a case against me so I terminated the conversation with him.”
Raffensperger’s investigation of whistle blowers is another indication of the depth of corruption in the SOS office. The SOS IG division was implicated at the June 21st ballot inspection hearing by Fulton Board of Registrations and Elections attorney Amanda Palmer as conducting a secret, illegal inspection of the mail-in ballots that are the subject of the lawsuit. The office even recently acknowledged in a news report the tampering they likely committed after the election was certified and the ballots had been sealed.
Unlike most IG offices that are created to conduct internal investigations, the Georgia SOS IG office was set up in 2007 by then SOS Karen Handel to investigate Georgia citizens for election related matters. It also immediately served to protect corrupt government officials, rather than hold them accountable. The SOS IG office is currently headed by Frances Watson who has a sordid history during her time at the Roswell Police Department before being hired to lead the Inspector General’s office. Her predecessor Chris Harvey established a track record of politicized investigations. One of his more notable cases was the attempted false prosecution of voting system technician Laura Gallegos who he tried to blame for certification violations committed by the well-connected Lowndes County Elections Director who he and Handel tried to protect. Harvey worked in DeKalb County with the original Inspector General Shawn LaGrua who Handel appointed. LaGrua’s highly politicized investigations were the subject of a 70-count impeachment resolution filed in 2010. In spite of that, former Governor Sonny Perdue appointed her to the Fulton County Superior Court bench where she now serves.
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