Surveillance video from State Farm Arena in Fulton County is just one of the controversies addressed at today’s state hearing about election security in Georgia.
The video, widely circulated in the media this week, purports to show election workers pulling four suitcases of ballots from under a table after observers were dismissed, and proceeding to count them. State and county officials have said the video shows a normal vote counting process, and that Georgia law doesn’t require that observers be present for votes to be counted.
However, numerous witnesses at the Republican-led hearing of the House Governmental Affairs committee raised questions about the process. One witness says observers were dismissed from the area before the suitcases were pulled out and counted for two hours, during which time Democrat Joe Biden pulled ahead of Republican Donald Trump. They observers were reportedly told by election officials that "counting had stopped for the night."
Election officials defend the counting that took place after observers left by stating the observers were not forced or told to leave. The election officials also dispute the claim that people were told counting had halted for the night.
However, a witness told lawmakers that a simple Google search shows the news media were told by election officials that counting was done for the night. The witness stated that, under Georgia law, the Supervisor of Elections is required to notify the public if counting resumes, and that notification was not given.
Another witness told lawmakers that only one of the four suitcases had a proper security tag, and that the others were opened without tags being cut.
Here are some of the other claims made by witnesses during the hearing:
On November 18, Cobb County improperly shredded white privacy envelopes for absentee ballots, required to be saved under Georgia law to show if each ballot arrived by mail.
Multiple observers saw stacks of questionable absentee ballots that had never been folded. To have been mailed, absentee ballots would have to have been folded to fit in the envelope.
Some ballots were kept in the personal vehicles of Dominion Voting Systems officials.
One witness questioned why Dominion, the voting machine company, appeared to be managing election, staying on after other officials left for the night.
One registered Democrat testified she received eight absentee ballot applications from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, while her Republican family members received non.
One Republican official testified that there’s no proper chain of custody for 2% of the votes in Fulton County, a number greater than Biden’s lead in the state.
Multiple observers say they were kept too far away to properly observe the counts.
A witness said he saw insecure ballot transport bags with no security tags. One observer says that when he pointed out an untagged bag with his foot, election workers accused him of having kicked the bag and ejected from the precinct.
Another witness testified that 25,000 votes came from people who had put in permanent out of state change of addresses. The witness pointed out that doesn’t mean they are all improper votes, but said that they should be tracked to find out.
Thousands of people improperly used post office boxes and other invalid addresses as their residential addresses.
Democrats say there are explanations for the complaints. For example, the out-of-state voters could be people who have a primary residence in Georgia and another residence elsewhere, but only vote in Georgia. However, no proof has been presented to indicate this is the case for all of the apparent out-of-state votes. As for the many thousands who used what look like improper addresses, such as post office boxes, Democrats say that’s because some people live in complexes that have a mail center underneath them at the same address. However, Democrats have not supplied proof, nor quantified how many of the questioned addresses this explanation supposedly applies to.
A Democrat lawmaker who spoke at the hearing did not address most of the specific claims but stated there has been no evidence of voter fraud and called the allegations “unsubstantiated.”
He also incorrectly claimed that “all” of the allegations have already been rejected by courts around the United States. In fact, many of the specific allegations have not been presented or heard as part of a court case.
Watch the hearing at the link below: