November 29, 2020

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Opinion | Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger: Georgia’s election results are sound

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Georgia’s voting system has never been more secure or trustworthy. A newly implemented statewide voting system gave Georgia voters paper ballots for the first time in nearly 20 years. This month, voters could review those paper records and verify that their choices were correct before casting their ballots. Partnerships with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Georgia Cyber Center at Augusta University, experts from Georgia Tech and election security specialists from around the country help ensure that Georgia’s election system remains secure from whatever threats loom on the horizon.

In Georgia, signatures for absentee ballot voters are verified twice to ensure that each voter gets one vote — and only one vote. Voters who request an absentee ballot through the state’s new online portal provide a driver’s license number for verification. Voter rolls are maintained to ensure that only living and qualified voters remain on the registration lists — and, importantly, that each ballot goes to the correct address.

Georgia just finished its first statewide hand recount, a cutting-edge process that was developed for verifying the accuracy of election results and that is considered the gold standard in election integrity. The General Assembly passed legislation that allowed time to match signatures on ballots as well as creating guides for automatic recounts. The closeness of the presidential race in Georgia required that all ballots be hand-recounted — a process that is in place to ensure the machines are working properly and every ballot has been accounted for.

Nonetheless, some politicians and pundits have tried to mislead voters here and elsewhere about Georgia’s outcome. Since we selected the new voting system in 2019, partisan activists and their allies in Washington took steps to undermine the integrity of our election system at every turn. While the recent — and unfounded — attacks on Georgia’s election system might seem new, partisans on the opposite side of the aisle wrote the playbook almost word-for-word over the past year.

Disinformation about the reliability and security of Georgia’s voting machines had been percolating since 2018 — long before we even selected a system. A failed gubernatorial candidate refused to accept the outcome of an election she lost by 50,000 votes — and is praised for it by media pundits to this day, even as they attack a presidential candidate for running the same playbook.

When I was elected Georgia’s secretary of state in 2018, I committed to overseeing Georgia’s elections with integrity — every legal ballot would be counted. I knew that after any election, somewhere around half of the voters would be happy and the other half would be sad. But I wanted all voters to feel confident in the outcome.

The truth is that the people of Georgia — and across the country — should not have any remaining doubts about who was elected governor two years ago or who won the presidential election earlier this month. The presidential outcome was remarkably close, but the new paper-ballot system, the strong election security and integrity mechanisms in place, and the audit and hand recount should combine to put to rest any doubts about the final outcome.

My office and my colleagues at the county and local levels worked with integrity to ensure that Georgia’s voters had a secure, reliable and efficient election this month.

As we move toward two closely watched, high-stakes U.S. Senate runoff elections on Jan. 5, I am confident that we will again be able to deliver the secure election and reliable results that the people of Georgia deserve.

By Brad Raffensperger


2020-11-21 04:10:21


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