New Amicus Brief Exposes AG’s Bad Faith on Election Transparency
The Georgia AG Amicus Brief
On Good Friday, April 2nd Georgia Attorney General (AG) Chris Carr attempted to crucify a critical transparency initiative that will help restore voter confidence in Georgia elections. Carr filed an amicus brief that day on behalf of Secretary of State (SOS) Brad Raffensperger to put the state on public record as adamantly opposing election transparency. The brief contends that Georgians have no right to view the November 3rd election ballots that four senior poll managers swore were counterfeit when auditing Fulton County mail-in ballots during a hand count audit conducted on November 14th and 15th.
While the Georgia AG has an obligation to defend the SOS if the SOS is sued, Carr is under no obligation to voluntarily file any type of brief when the SOS is not a party to the court case. But Carr not only put his own Georgia Bar number (112505) on it, the brief included the Bar numbers for Deputy Attorney General Ryan Webb (743580) and Senior Assistant Attorney General Russell Willard (760280). The brief was signed and argued (albeit ineffectively) by Assistant Attorney General Charlene McGowan (679316) during an April 13th hearing when the court ordered Fulton County to turn over ballot images.
Those images were granted to petitioners in the Fulton County mail-in ballot inspection lawsuit known as Favorito v. Cooney. The petitioners in that case immediately filed a reply brief explaining a variety of false arguments in Carr’s brief. We outlined seven false arguments in the 7th installment of our Georgia Election Integrity series. That is an average of nearly one per page for the 8-page brief. Some examples:
- The brief falsely states that lawsuit contains “baseless” claims when the claims are actually based on four sworn affidavits from seasoned poll managers stating they handled counterfeit ballots during the November 14th and 15th hand count audit;
- The brief falsely states that there was no unlawful activity at the State Farm Area when mail-in ballots were processed during the night of November 3rd and 4th 2020 despite the fact the video shows multiple violations of Georgia election transparency laws;
- The brief falsely claims that the lawsuit did not articulate legal justification to unseal the ballots when the motions in the case and Georgia law clearly state that any court has authority to unseal ballots for any reason under O.C.G.A. 21-2-500.
Carr’s brief is triggering a rash of non-partisan disgust statewide. The Constitution Party of Georgia (CPGA) has initiated a petition that details false premises of the brief, outlines its negative impact on Georgia voters and calls for Carr to leave public office. Various committees in his own Republican Party are unwilling to defend Carr and are circulating resolutions of censure, resignation or other punitive actions against him. CPGA Chairman Ricardo Davis summarized the danger of Carr’s most offensive and egregious claim: “It is outrageous for the Attorney General to threaten citizens with possible felony accusations when they exercise their legal rights to validate election results by inspecting the ballots.”
The Tea Party Patriots Foundation Brief
Last week the Tea Party Patriots Foundation (TPPF) entered their amicus brief in support of the citizen petitioners. CDM Press exclusively learned today that they are being joined by the Filipino, Latino, Asian Movement for Empowerment (FLAME). The new brief contains facts the Carr brief craftily omits:
- “Original ballots in Georgia are the ‘best evidence’ and the only evidence to conduct a valid forensic audit of the public records at issue.”
- “The Court has already ruled the images of the ballot must be turned over and not excluded under any exception under the Act, making the content of the ballots public record.”
- “The Secretary of State of Georgia is already mandated to permit the public inspection of original ballots…”
- “Fulton County did not conduct a transparent collection and tabulation process which has aggravated the erosion of public trust in Georgia elections.”
In regards to Fulton’s State Farm Arena mail-in ballot processing, the brief points out that:
- “Fulton County’s absentee ballot processing suffered from massive procedural failures, especially in regards to chain of custody of original ballots, which calls into question the validity of tens of thousands of absentee ballots.”
- “Fulton County conducted illegal ballot counting under cover of darkness.”
- “In reality, Secretary Raffensperger conducted a superficial inquiry under the auspices of his own office’s Chief Investigator Frances Watson, who falsely concluded under oath that the election monitors simply left on their own.”
The TPFF brief also cites statistics of potential statewide fraud not investigated by Raffensperger:
- “The state’s own admissions belie their assertion the election was secure.”
- “There are no chain of custody records for 355,918, or 59.3%, mail -in ballots deposited in drop boxes.”
- “Analysis of the SOS’s official voter data shows that absentee ballot rejection rates declined from 2.91% and 3.47% in the 2016 and 2018 elections, respectively, to .34% in the 2020 election.”
The new brief then points out the lack of credibility of Raffensperger, Carr’s client:
- “The SOS and his office have undermined public confidence.”
- “The Report prepared by the state’s own non-partisan election monitor clearly undermines the SOS’s unabashed and repeated claim that the November 3rd, 2020 election was ‘the most secure election in United States history’.”
- The SOS’s office has admitted that fraudulent voting took place in the November, 2020 Presidential election and has referred dozens of cases for prosecution.”
- “Rather than providing the utmost transparency and show there is nothing to hide, the SOS has attempted to steadfastly (and this far successfully) prevent anyone, even the Courts, to have access to the information that would demonstrate once and for all if the election was either free and fair, or it was not.”
Finally, the 27-page brief concludes that:
- “The Secretary of State is arguing in bad faith.”
The person ultimately making the argument for the SOS is his attorney, Chris Carr. As we mentioned, the most blatant example of bad faith is Carr’s argument that anyone participating in a court ordered ballot inspection may be guilty of a felony. The referenced law is written in an code Article that clearly applies to the conduct of elections, not a court ordered inspection of sealed ballots. [O.C.G.A. 21-2-574]. The new brief counters Carr’s argument:
- “Georgia law states that the SOS shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if he or any employees of his office ‘willfully refuses to permit the public inspection or copying of the records’ in accordance with Open Records Law.” [O.C.G.A. 50-18-74]
As we pointed out in our 7th installment, if Carr thinks court ordered ballot inspectors could be felons, then his client, Raffensperger, is guilty of a thousand counts of criminal solicitation for authorizing Georgians to handle ballots as auditors in the November, 2020 hand count audit.
While amicus briefs will likely have little or no impact on the ballot inspection lawsuit, the Carr brief demonstrates how he is operating in bad faith and subverting the rights of the people of Georgia. It exposes how deep Georgia government corruption really is. We think the people who sign the petition are right. It is time for Chris Carr to return to private practice.