Georgia House Announces More Election Hearings Will Be Held Next Week

December 4, 2020 Updated: December 5, 2020

The Georgia House of Representatives on Friday said hearings will be held next week about the Nov. 3 presidential election after concerns were raised about a video captured on Election Night that showed suitcase-looking containers with ballots being pulled from underneath a table when allegedly no poll observers were around.

House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) stated that following the claims made by President Donald Trump’s team during the Thursday hearing, “it is imperative that we ensure free and fair elections that inspire confidence and certainty in the result.”

“For that reason, I’m asking Chairman Blackmon and his committee to act swiftly and aggressively and follow the facts wherever they may lead so as to reassure Georgia voters their vote will count in January,” he said. “Over the last year, I have been outspoken regarding my concerns with election processes like jungle primaries and mail-in voting, and I will continue to advocate for transparent and secure elections.”

Ralston did not mention whether the GOP-led State House or State Senate would vote to reclaim their constitutional authority to select their own electors, as Trump’s lawyers have suggested.

The focus of the committee’s work next week, Ralson’s office said, is ensuring the security and efficiency of the January runoff election for two Senate seats.

“Our committee will seek any credible evidence of fraud or wrong-doing and determine what, if any, legislative action may be necessary to preserve the sanctity of the ballot box,” Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Shaw Blackmon (R-Bonaire) said. “When our Democratic colleagues had concerns earlier this year, Speaker Ralston asked our committee to investigate, and he has done so again now in light of current concerns. I know our members will welcome the opportunity to examine and debate this crucial topic.”

Trump lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani wrote that Georgia’s State Legislature now “has no choice but to assume its powers under the U.S. Constitution” to select electors for Trump. He cited the so-called “smoking gun” video that was displayed during the hearing.

Giuliani wrote: “The Georgia middle of the night theft of thousands of votes changes everything. Watch it and Biden is not-elect anything. Looks like Biden Democrats doing a bank heist. In 5 states there are 800 sworn statements of eyewitnesses to Democrat cheating. States changing.”

During the Thursday hearing, Jacki Pick, a lawyer volunteering for Trump’s legal efforts, noted: “Everyone clears out, including the Republican observers and the press, but four people stay behind and continue counting and tabulating well into the night.” It occurred at around 10 p.m., while the workers stayed until after 1 a.m., according to Pick and the video footage.

Once the observers were gone, she added, workers are seen pulling out the suitcase-looking containers and asked rhetorically whether it’s normal to “store suitcases of ballots under a table cloth.” Other GOP officials, in recent weeks, made note of conflicting statements from election officials in Fulton County about poll observers and journalists leaving at 10 p.m. before workers stayed behind and counted, allegedly with no observation. They also have cited conflicting statements made by Fulton officials about a pipe bursting near the tabulation area, leading to a delay around the same time.

State voting systems manager Gabriel Sterling told Newsmax that the video shows nothing irregular.

He said that there was an “82-minute” period where no election monitor was present. “Nothing was brought in without the monitors there. So everything was there. There was nothing new brought in. We didn’t see somebody wheeling stuff into the room,” Sterling said.