By Jack Phillips
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said on Dec. 9 his office is investigating Coffee County’s handling of an election recount after officials there said they couldn’t recertify the results.
“All counties were to be completed by Wednesday night, Dec. 2, at midnight, as instructed by the secretary of state. By Thursday, there were six counties finalizing their recount upload. On Thursday, Coffee County officials were working with the secretary of state’s office and Dominion Voting Systems to resolve a discrepancy of 50 votes,” Raffensperger’s office said in an email.
Coffee County was the “sole remaining” Georgia county that hasn’t completed uploading its recount, according to the secretary of state.
A letter from Coffee County Board of Election officials on Dec. 4 said it “cannot certify the electronic recount numbers given its inability to repeatably duplicate creditable election results.” Raffensperger announced the recount was certified on Dec. 7.
“Any system, financial, voting, or otherwise, that is not repeatable nor dependable should not be used,” according to the letter. “To demand certification of patently inaccurate results neither serves the objective of the electoral system nor satisfies the legal obligation to certify the electronic recount.”
Coffee County elections officials also provided Raffensperger’s office with a document that allegedly “illuminates that the electronic recount lacks credibility.” They emphatically asserted that no election board can “reconcile the anomalies reflected in the attached.”
“Accordingly,” the official said, “the Coffee County Board of Elections and Registration have voted to certify the votes cast in the election night report. The election night numbers are reflected in the official certification of results submitted by our office.”
The letter was signed by the chairwoman of the Coffee County Elections and Registration, Ernestine Thomas-Clark.
Georgia State Elections Director Chris Harvey called the county’s elections director, Misty Martin, who stated “that the hand audit showed that they were off by one vote from the original count, but now, following the recount, Coffee County’s tally was off by 51 votes,” according to Raffensperger’s office.
“Further, the county’s tally was showing two batch uploads of 50 ballots each. It became apparent that Ms. Martin was unsure whether she had scanned a batch of 50 ballots twice, which would account for the 50-vote discrepancy (Martin also noted that Coffee County had comingled their Advance Voting and Election Day ballots, adding further disorganization to the process),” the secretary of state’s office said.
“Again, though she could not say for certain that she had scanned the same batch of 50 ballots twice, that seemed a likely possibility.”
Ultimately, according to the office, on Dec. 7, Martin and Coffee County “completed the recount upload and provided the secretary of state’s office with the documentation from their Election Management System to back up their uploaded results.”
Officials in Coffee County didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.
Raffensperger in recent weeks has come under intense criticism for the way his office has handled the election. Prominent Georgia Republicans, including state GOP Chairman David Shafer and Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), have expressed concerns about Raffensperger’s claims.
“Raffensperger is more interested in covering up his gross incompetence than securing the integrity of our elections,” Hice wrote on Twitter on Dec. 9. In an interview, Hice called on Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to “put pressure” on Raffensperger to take action on allegations of election fraud.
Hice made note of the surveillance footage obtained from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta on the night of Nov. 3, which appears to show containers of ballots being wheeled out from under a table after poll observers and other workers were told to leave for the night. Officials with the secretary of state’s office have said the video shows nothing unusual, although Shafer and others say that election officials haven’t provided answers to key questions about not only the containers, but why vote counting continued into the early morning hours on Nov. 4.
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