Georgia authorities have opened an investigation into allegations of systematic ballot harvesting during the state’s 2020 general election and subsequent U.S. Senate runoff.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Just The News that officials could soon secure subpoenas.Advertisement
“Georgia law strictly prohibits third-party activists from picking up and delivering ballots on behalf of voters, a tactic called “harvesting” that liberal organizers have tried to get legalized in many battleground states without success. The U.S. Supreme Court this summer rejected Democrat efforts to overturn an Arizona law that outlawed harvesting in the battleground state,” Just The News reported.
“Raffensperger, who is seeking reelection in 2022, led a successful effort in 2019 to strengthen Georgia’s prohibition against harvesting ahead of the 2020 presidential election and defeated an effort by prominent Democrat lawyer Marc Elias to overturn the harvesting ban. Raffensperger also reviewed and rejected claims by former President Donald Trump of widespread fraud during the 2020 election in a series of contracts under investigation by a local district attorney in Atlanta and the Jan. 6 select committee in Congress,” the outlet reported.
The report continued:
According to interviews and documents reviewed by Just the News, Raffensperger’s office received a detailed complaint from conservative voter integrity group True the Vote on Nov. 30 saying it had assembled evidence that scores of activists worked with nonprofit groups to collect and deliver thousands of absentee ballots, often during wee-hour operations, to temporary voting drop boxes distributed around the state during the pandemic.
The group informed the secretary its evidence included video footage from surveillance cameras placed by counties outside the drop boxes as well as geolocation data for the cell phones of more than 200 activists seen on the tapes purportedly showing the dates and times of ballot drop-offs, according to documents reviewed by Just the News.
The group also said it interviewed a Georgia man who admitted he was paid thousands of dollars to harvest ballots in the Atlanta metropolitan area during the November election and the lead-up to Jan. 5, 2021 runoff for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats, which were both captured by Democrats and ended GOP control of Congress. The group has yet to identify the cooperating witness to state authorities, referring to him in the complaint simply as John Doe.
Raffensperger told Just The News that his office has deemed the allegations credible enough to open an investigation and possibly seek subpoenas from the State Election Board to secure evidence.
“We do have some information,” Raffensperger said. “And we are going to investigate that. We did deploy drop boxes that were under 24/7 surveillance, and because they were then that really, you know, can indicate who dropped that information off, and we’re really just going through that.”
Raffensperger conceded the allegation that a specific individual engaged in illegal harvesting warrants investigation.
“If people give us, you know, credible allegations, we want to make sure that we do that,” Raffensperger told Just the News. “And we have that right now as an ongoing investigation.”
“That will be one of the processes we’re looking at if we have people that don’t want to come forward for whatever concern because we really need to get to the bottom of it,” he said during the interview. “We just can’t let it sit there and lie. So if it comes to that, then that’s probably the next step that we’d be looking at.”