Georgia election officials refute claims made about viral video with 'suitcases' of ballots

Georgia election officials refute claims made about viral
video with 'suitcases' of ballots 1

The Georgia secretary of state’s office on Friday reportedly
said they’ve investigated claims of voter fraud made in a viral
video shared by the Trump campaign and others, and found that the
claims were not true.

According to Fox News,
senior officials
in Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s
office have investigated and debunked claims that Fulton County
election officials illegally counted ballots without poll watcher

The Trump campaign and various political commentators and media
figures on Thursday claimed that video footage taken by security
cameras showed “suitcases filled with ballots” being counted at
State Farm Arena in Atlanta on Nov. 3 after election supervisors
were told to leave the room. The video was first presented as part
of testimony from the Trump campaign at an
election integrity hearing
held by state lawmakers. Those that
testified were not asked to swear under oath.

Video footage from Georgia shows suitcases filled with ballots
pulled from under a table AFTER supervisors told pol…

— Trump War Room (@Trump War Room)1607056632.0

The narrator of the video is Jackie Pick, an attorney who said
she was not acting as a lawyer for the Trump campaign but rather

presented testimony
as a volunteer. She claimed that the video
showed “four people” staying behind to count “suitcases” of ballots
after “Republican observers and the press” were told to leave.
Trump’s legal team asserts that something fraudulent or nefarious
may have occurred while these ballots were allegedly counted
without supervision and at the very least complains that what
occurred in the video was against protocols established by Georgia
state election law.

An official from Raffensperger’s office told Fox News an
investigation showed these claims were unfounded. According to the
official, Fulton County election officials had a designated
observer watching the votes being counted the entire time.
Additionally, the official said there was nothing suspicious about
the “suitcases” of ballots that were pulled out from beneath a
table and that those cases on video are the cases ballots were
supposed to be kept in.

TheBlaze has contacted the Georgia secretary of state’s office
requesting comment on Fox News’ reporting.

Other Georgia officials have stated on the record that the
claims made about the video were false.

Gabriel Sterling, a Republican in charge of implementing
Georgia’s voting system,
told Lead Stories
that nothing in the video appeared “bizarre
or odd” and that what is seen looks like normal election procedure.
He disputed allegations that Republican poll watchers were told
vote counting had ended and they were to go home.

He explained that the election workers who went home are known
as “cutters,” because their job was to open absentee ballot
envelopes and verify ballots for eventual scanning and counting. He
said they were dismissed sometime after 10 p.m. on Nov. 3, as shown
in the video, because their work for the evening had been finished.
The four workers who remained behind were responsible for scanning
the ballots.

“If you look at the video tape, the work you see is the work you
would expect, which is you take the sealed suitcase looking things
in, you place the ballots on the scanner in manageable batches and
you scan them,” Sterling told Lead Stories.

The chief investigator for the Georgia secretary of state,
Frances Watson, also spoke to Lead Stories and he said that the
“suitcases” seen in the video were standard containers.

“There wasn’t a bin that had ballots in it under that table,”
Watson explained. “It was an empty bin and the ballots from it were
actually out on the table when the media were still there, and then
it was placed back into the box when the media were still there and
placed next to the table.”

Watson said that there was never an announcement made to the
media or to partisan election observers about the counting being
done for the night or telling them to go home.

TheBlaze has previously
that Fulton County officials explicitly denied that
anyone from the Trump campaign was ever told vote counting was
finished for the night. Multiple requests made to the Trump
campaign for response were unanswered.

Additionally, Lead Stories obtained comments from the state
election board monitor who was present for the vote counting on
Nov. 3. He explained that at no point was the ballot counting
unobserved by elections officials, as Pick and others have

A state election board monitor, who asked for his name
not to be used due to safety concerns, told Lead Stories on the
phone on December 3, 2020, that he was present at the vote counting
location beginning at 11:52 p.m., after leaving briefly at earlier
in the evening. He then stayed until about 12:45 a.m., when the
work that night was completed.

The deputy chief investigator for the secretary of state’s office
was present beginning at 12:15 a.m. November 4, he

Georgia officials are responding to other “concerning”
allegations made during Thursday’s testimony.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday called
on the secretary of state
to conduct a signature audit of
absentee ballots to verify the election results.

However, a signature audit presents difficulties because when
absentee votes are first counted on Election Day, they are
separated from the signed envelopes they came in,
WXIA-TV explained
. To preserve the secrecy of ballots, ballots
are not signed by voters, just the envelopes they are delivered in.
So there is no way to retroactively match votes that have already
been counted with the signatures of the voters who sent those

The Georgia secretary of state’s office has not yet responded to
the governor’s request.

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