43,907 of the 61,731 absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes in the November 2020 presidential election in DeKalb County, Georgia–72 percent–were counted in official tallies certified by the county and the state, despite violating chain of custody requirements set forward in Georgia Emergency Rule 183-1-14-1.8-.14 promulgated by the Georgia State Election Board at its July 1, 2020, meeting.
That rule states absentee ballots placed in drop boxes, “shall be immediately transported to the county registrar” by the two person collection team, which is required to sign a ballot transfer form indicating the number of ballots picked up, the time the ballots were picked up, and the location of the drop box, and that, “The county registrar or a designee thereof shall sign the ballot transfer form upon receipt of the ballots from the collection team.”
An analysis by The Georgia Star News of DeKalb County’s absentee ballot drop box transfer forms from the November 2020 election identified a number of problems that puts the documents out of compliance with the Georgia Board of Election Emergency Rule 183-1-14-1.8-.14.
The Star News reviewed 725 absentee ballot drop box transfer forms, obtained from the DeKalb County law department in response to an open records request, that were used by DeKalb County during the November 2020 election to document the chain of custody of the 61,731 absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes .
Petitioners in a lawsuit to inspect Fulton County mail-in absentee ballots from the November 3, 2020, election have added new claims and provided new evidence that the hand recount audit was riddled wth massive errors and provable fraud.
VoterGA, organizers of the lawsuit, made the stunning announcement on Tuesday that revealed “a whopping 60%” error rate in Fulton County’s hand count audit held on November 14 and 15, 2020.
Taxpayer-funded National Public Radio (NPR) spread 2020 election misinformation about absentee ballot drop box chain of custody documents in Georgia in an article written by Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) political reporter Stephen Fowler published on Friday. That article was the basis for a four-minute segment broadcast across NPR’s national network Friday afternoon.
The NPR Politics Twitter account tweeted the story, titled “How Pro-Trump Local News Sites Keep Pushing 2020 Election Misinformation,” out on Friday.
An interview between The Georgia Star News and Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) News revealed that they had received Fulton County’s drop box absentee ballot transfer forms from the Secretary of State’s office in April. GPB News, however, did not report on their findings until after The Star News report in June.
Stephen Fowler of Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) News requested an interview with John Fredericks, which also included Laura Baigert, of The Georgia Star News, as part of his fact-check for a story and to get comments from everyone involved.
In a story this week, The Washington Post referred to Fulton County’s record-keeping of the chain of custody documentation of the absentee ballots deposited into drop boxes during the November 3, 2020, election “shoddy” and “sloppy.”
While the apparent goal of the story was to deliver “Four Pinocchios” to former President Donald Trump for what The Post called “baseless claims about ballot drop boxes in Fulton County, Ga,” it made arguments supporting claims of election irregularities.
Fulton County elections officials have failed to provide complete absentee ballot drop box transfer forms to The Georgia Star News that they provided to Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) News last week.
The Star News broke the news on Monday, June 14, that a Fulton County elections official admitted that “a few forms are missing” and that during a COVID outbreak at the Elections Preparation Center (EPC) “some procedural paperwork may have been misplaced,” with regard to 385 drop box transfer forms The Star News is still missing from 1,565 transfer forms Fulton County documented on a spreadsheet that tracked daily absentee ballot collections during the November 2020 election.
A tweet by Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) News writer Stephen Fowler on Saturday revealed more chain of custody document discrepancies in Fulton County’s absentee ballot drop box transfer forms.
The tweet included a partial image – the very top only — of two transfer forms Fowler claims were part of an open records response GPB News received on Wednesday from Fulton County election officials.
Georgia Public Broadcasting News, part of the taxpayer-funded network of state PBS television stations and NPR radio stations, reported Wednesday, June 16, 2021, that they received from Fulton County all but eight of the 385 missing absentee ballot drop box transfer forms The Georgia Star News has reported on.
After six months and several open records requests, 385 of the transfer forms that document the chain of custody of absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes and transferred to the county registrar during the November 3, 2020, election have still not been provided to The Star News.
Six months after the November 2020 election and after failing on two occasions to produce complete chain of custody documents for absentee ballot drop boxes, the Fulton County Registration & Elections officials advise that “more time is needed.”
Fulton County’s reply to The Georgia Star News came as a response to a follow-up on previously-supplied records related the transfer forms that document the critical chain of custody for absentee ballots deposited over a 41-day voting period in 37 drop boxes placed throughout Fulton County.
Six months after the November 3, 2020 election, Fulton County has failed to produce complete chain of custody documents for 18,901 vote-by-mail absentee ballots deposited by voters into drop boxes.
The Fulton County missing documentation is a little more than five percent of the estimated 333,000 vote-by-mail absentee ballots cast in the November 3, 2020 general election for which chain of custody documentation is still missing.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has refused to collect, count, and verify the chain of custody documentation associated with an estimated 600,000 absentee vote by mail ballots deposited in drop boxes in the 2020 general election. Instead, Raffensperger has said it is a county responsibility. The Georgia Star News has filed Open Records Requests with all 159 counties in the state to obtain this documentation and report on it to the public.