Georgia election workers, during the controversial 2020 presidential ballot count, altered spoiled ballots to count them – often for Joe Biden, according to a new report from Just the News, which confirmed it reviewed state records as well as images of thousands of ballots.
The investigation revealed “marks for candidates like [President Donald] Trump were sometimes removed so ballots could count for Biden.”
The actions took place as vote counters reviewed ballots that had been rejected by voting machines and sometimes already head been marked “spoiled,” which usually means they cannot be counted.
Those were sent to a review team, which often noted “mark removed for Donald J. Trump.”
“Scores of additional ballots that same day had checks manually removed next to Trump’s name as well as many other candidates up and down the ticket — Libertarians, Democrats and write-ins alike — and the votes awarded instead to other candidates,” Just the News confirmed.
The report found more than 5,000 of the 148,000 absentee ballots cast in Georgia’s largest county “required some form of human intervention,” based on details from Fulton County logs obtained under an open records procedure.
Those alone would not have changed the election result, a win given to Biden, “However, they reveal an imperfect system vulnerable to chaos, subjectivity, or political dirty tricks, especially in a county like Fulton where state officials documented widespread irregularities and misconduct and now want to take over election counting,” the report said.
The organization said it review 1,604 pages of adjudication logs from the county, as well as nearly 5,000 ballot images.
The report pointed out that Georgia has conflicting requirements in elections, where one rule deems a ballot “spoiled” and uncountable if a voter makes a mistake or unauthorized marks.
But another gives election officials discretion to try to determine the intent of the voter.
On one ballot, boxes for both Trump and Biden had been marked.
“Election judges awarded the vote to Biden and removed the mark for Trump,” the report said, linking to an image of the ballot.
But another ballot had the word spoiled written on it and a vote solely for Trump.
“It was rejected by the same process, showing just how uneven the system was,” the report said.
The county refused to answer questions about the processes, the report said, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office said it did not have an immediate response on whether such spoiled ballots should have been allowed to go to adjudication.
“The Just the News review shows adjudication judges have the power to ‘remove marks’ and or ‘add marks’ to reflect a voter’s assumed intention and did so hundreds of times in Fulton County alone,” the report said. “Scores of adjudicated ballots ultimately were resolved with the notation “removed mark” next to Trump’s name, in most cases allowing a second mark next to Biden’s name to count. But at times it happened in reverse too, or to the detriment of third-party candidates.”
Just the News confirmed it also is seeking adjudication logs in other states like Arizona, “where its largest election metropolis, Maricopa County, recently told the news organization there were about 27,000 adjudicated ballots in November but so far has refused to provide the logs or images.”
Phill Kline, former Kansas attorney general and chief of the Amistad Project, which has sued seeking transparency in elections across the nation, told Just the News, “Similar actions took place in Detroit, Philadelphia, Green Bay and other major urban centers in swing states where tens of thousands of ballots were interpreted and counted by review panels. This happens every year. But in 2020 laws requiring both parties to review this process weren’t followed.”
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