Georgia County Can’t Find Chain of Custody Records for Absentee Ballots

Gwinnett county workers begin their recount of the ballots on November 13, 2020 in Lawrenceville, Georgia. (Megan Varner/Getty Images)

Gwinnett county workers begin their recount of the ballots on November 13, 2020 in Lawrenceville, Georgia. (Megan Varner/Getty Images)GEORGIA

Georgia County Can’t Find Chain of Custody Records for Absentee Ballots

BY IVAN PENTCHOUKOV December 6, 2020 Updated: December 6, 2020Print

Georgia’s Dekalb County does not know if it is in possession of the ballot transfer forms used to record the chain of custody for absentee ballots dropped into some 300 drop boxes around the state.

Dekalb County responded to an open records request for the transfer forms from The Georgia Star News by writing that “it has not yet been determined if responsive records to your request exist.”

“DeKalb County and [the DeKalb County Department of Voting, Registration and Election] VRE are currently operating within its COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan. These remote operations and VRE’s current workload greatly impact how soon responsive records can be provided,” the response from the department stated.

“VRE is expected to make this determination within thirty business days.”

The Georgia Star News requested the ballot transfer forms from several counties. Cobb County and Cook County have complied with the request, each providing copies of the forms.

A spokesperson for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Breitbart News last week that the ballot transfer forms are in the possession of individual counties.

Georgia election rules require ballots from drop boxes to be picked up by teams of at least two people who must complete a transfer form upon doing so.

“The collection team shall complete and sign a ballot transfer form upon removing the ballots from the dropbox, which shall include the date, time, location and number of ballots,” the relevant rule states.

“The ballots from the drop box shall be immediately transported to the county registrar and processed and stored in the same manner as absentee ballots returned by mail are processed and stored. The county registrar or a designee thereof shall sign the ballot transfer form upon receipt of the ballots from the collection team.”

Each of the drop boxes should have more than a dozen signed ballot transfer forms, given the frequency of the pickups required by the rules.

The Peach State first used absentee ballot drop boxes for its June 19 primary, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

In 2016 in Dekalb County, Hillary Clinton received 251,370 votes and Donald Trump received 51,468 votes.

In 2020, the unofficial results show former Vice President Joe Biden with 308,102 votes and President Donald Trump with 58,361.

The Trump campaign filed an election contest in Georgia on Dec. 4, alleging that violations of the Constitution and state laws took place in the 2020 election.

The president held a rally in Georgia on Dec. 5, alleging that widespread fraud occurred in the state which could be remedied if the signatures on absentee ballot envelopes were to be verified.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp called on Raffensperger to order a signature audit after the release of video footage that appeared to show poll workers in Fulton County processing ballots in the middle of the night with no observers.

Speaking to Fox News, Kemp said, “I think it should be done. I think especially with what we saw today, it raises more questions. There needs to be transparency on that.”

Juliet Song contributed to this report.

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect the correct titles for the DeKalb County Department of Voting, Registration and Election and The Georgia Star News.Follow Ivan on Twitter: @ivanpentchoukov

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