Georgia GOP Calls on Secretary of State to Revisit Audit Protocols: ‘Does This Inspire Confidence?’

November 13, 2020 Updated: November 15, 2020

Georgia election officials are slated to start a hand count of presidential election votes starting on Friday, but Georgia GOP Chairman David Shafer and Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) said there are several outstanding issues.

“You stated yesterday that the process would be ‘an audit, a recount and a recanvass all at once’ and would help ‘build public confidence,'” they said in a letter to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “However, the training and directives issued today do not comport with your stated goals yesterday and do not satisfy our concerns that gave rise to our request for a hand count in the first place,” wrote Shafer and Collins.

They noted that Raffensperger’s office said that counties have to certify their results by 5 p.m. on Friday, meaning that an audit and hand recount are irrelevant.

“Given that the audit and recount will necessarily still be ongoing, it is completely improper for counties to be directed to certify the accuracy of the results before the audit and hand count are completed,” they wrote. “We had expected to receive by yesterday the parameters for the hand count in order to provide sufficient time to the public of the process to be followed. However, your training and guidance were issued only within the last few hours and the counties are directed to start the audit tomorrow.”

The two officials furthermore questioned whether the secretary of state’s office provided guidance on securing ballots, transporting ballots, and documenting the chain of custody of the ballots, which is mandated by state law. They suggested that the secretary of state’s office did not do so.

A video posted by Shafer on Twitter that is said to have been taken by a poll observer who identified herself as Susan Knox showed ballots being counted in Cobb County in an area that cordoned off the general public and poll watchers far away from ballot workers.

“We are looking at the recount for our president, and if you tell me you can see what these people are doing and which box they’re putting this in … I mean, this is horrible for our integrity of our election process,” Knox said in the video, saying she was in Cobb County at Jim Miller Park and Event Center on Friday. She was filming the recount process—along with members of the media—from behind police tape with a note attached to it.

“Does this inspire confidence?” Shafer asked on Twitter.

Raffensberger announced the manual recount earlier this week, saying it “will help build confidence. It will be an audit, a recount and a recanvass all at once.”

Georgia’s Secretary of State’s office has not responded to a request for comment following the allegations made by Shafer and Collins.