Georgia Election Board Censures Fulton County, Assigns Election Monitor

 May 9, 2024

The Georgia Election Board has made a significant move.

According to Western Journal, the board decided to reprimand Fulton County for its handling of the 2020 election and appoint an independent monitor for the upcoming general election.

This decision comes after a series of investigations and audits that found multiple errors in the county's election processes, including double-scanning of ballots and missing ballot images.

Details of the Election Board's Findings

During the 2020 presidential election recount, investigators from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office confirmed that 3,075 ballots were double-scanned. Additionally, 17,000 ballot images were missing.

However, it was later clarified that these were not missing ballots but the result of a scanner programming error that was subsequently corrected. Despite these errors, the board concluded that the election outcome, which saw Joe Biden win Georgia by 11,779 votes, remained accurate.

The independent audit and a review by the Performance Review Board underscored significant flaws in Fulton County’s ballot handling process, including unsecured delivery and chain of custody issues. These findings led to the decision to place the county under the watch of an independent monitor for future elections.

The Impact of Errors and Oversight on Election Integrity

Charlene McGowan, general counsel for the Georgia secretary of state, addressed some of the concerns during a board meeting:

We did partially substantiate that we believe that there are duplicate ballot images. Whether or not those were actually included in the tabulated results is inconclusive. The paper ballots exist. There’s no 17,000 missing ballots. The discrepancy, the 17,000 discrepancy, was because of that scanner error, the programming error in the scanner that got corrected. The results were recertified and re-reported and that accounted for the 17,000 difference. … We have hand-counted every single ballot.

This explanation highlights the complexities and challenges in ensuring the accuracy of election results, emphasizing the importance of stringent oversight and verification processes.

Community Reaction and Calls for Further Action

Board member Janice Johnston and other critics argued that mere reprimand and the appointment of a monitor might be insufficient given the gravity and number of violations found. Johnston specifically pointed out that over 140 violations of election laws and rules had been identified, suggesting that these issues warranted more severe consequences.

Local resident Joe Rossi, who filed a complaint regarding the election process, expressed a strong reaction to the board's findings at the meeting: “It has now been factually proven both the hand audit and the certified machine count have both been found to be in violation of Georgia election law."

The appointment of an independent monitor is seen as a step toward restoring public trust in Fulton County's election processes. Still, for some, like Rossi, it is also a moment of vindication.

Conclusion: A Step Toward Enhanced Election Security

The Georgia Election Board's decision to reprimand Fulton County and appoint an independent monitor is a critical step in addressing the issues uncovered during the 2020 election. While the identified errors did not change the election's outcome, they highlighted significant vulnerabilities in the election management system that need to be addressed. T

he board's actions reflect a commitment to upholding election integrity and ensuring that future elections are conducted without similar issues. The ongoing scrutiny and subsequent measures will be vital in restoring voter confidence in Fulton County and perhaps beyond.

About Robert Cunningham

With years of experience at the forefront of political commentary, Robert Cunningham brings a blend of sharp wit and deep insight to his analysis of American principles at the Capitalism Institute.

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