Records Still Not Available for 500,000 Georgia Absentee Ballots
Documents necessary to establish the chain of custody for more than 83% of the estimated 600,000 Georgia absentee ballots placed in drop boxes by voters and subsequently delivered to local election officials still have not been produced by state or county officials.
The Georgia Star News noted that the Georgia Election Code Emergency Rule mandates that every county is responsible for documenting the transfer of absentee ballots picked up at drop boxes.
The digital newspaper had sent out an Open Records Request for the ballot transfer forms to 77 of Georgia’s 159 counties. Bartow, Cobb, Clarke, and Cook counties provided the transfer forms.
And the Star News noted a preliminary review of the forms provided by Cobb County indicated there were problems documenting the chain of custody.
The four counties had accounted for about 100,000 of the estimated 600,000 absentee ballots placed in drop boxes — or about 16.6%.
Ten counties told the newspaper they did not have drop boxes. Sixty counties did not respond to the paper’s request.
Other counties were either investigating whether such records existed or told the paper they would make the information available at a later date.
The newspaper said it appears that state officials do not plan to take any actions to avoid a repeat of chain of custody questions for absentee ballots placed in drop boxes ahead of the Jan. 5 Senate runoffs.
Georgia is one of four states being sued by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The suit, filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, claims the states exploited the pandemic to justify ignoring election laws.