Georgia Secretary of State Announces Statewide Ballot Audit
Georgia's secretary of state has relented and announced a statewide signature-matching effort for the November election.
President Donald Trump's campaign claimed voter fraud and has requested that Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger order such an audit since the election ended.
Signatures for absentee ballots in all of Georgia's 159 counties will be reviewed, per The Washington Times.
Raffensperger's announcement came less than three weeks before the Jan. 5 Georgia U.S. Senate runoff election for both seats in the upper chamber. The election will determine which party will hold a Senate majority.
The University of Georgia will partner with the secretary's office to analyze a random sampling of signatures from each county for mail-in ballots during the November election, a Thursday press release said. The audit is expected to wrap up in two weeks.
"We are confident that elections in Georgia are secure, reliable and effective," Mr. Raffensperger said.
"Despite endless lawsuits and wild allegations from Washington, D.C., pundits, we have seen no actual evidence of widespread voter fraud, though we are investigating all credible reports. Nonetheless, we look forward to working with the University of Georgia on this signature match review to further instill confidence in Georgia’s voting systems."
The state already was auditing signatures for mail-in ballots in Cobb County, an Atlanta suburb. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is helping with that effort.
"The Trump campaign claimed that Cobb County did not properly conduct signature match in June," Jordan Fuchs, Georgia’s deputy secretary of state said. "After the countywide audit, we will look at the entire state. We will look at the entire election to make sure signature match was executed properly."
Georgia was among several battleground states accused of widespread voter fraud, centering on mail-in ballots, by President Trump.
The president lost the state by 0.2 percent or 11,779 votes.