As Georgia election officers work to finish a recount of practically 5 million ballots by Wednesday, President Trump is making an attempt to solid doubt on the legitimacy of the method — a hand recount that his personal marketing campaign demanded.
In a series of tweets in latest days, Mr. Trump has alleged that vote counters haven’t been permitted to match signatures included with absentee ballots and has falsely claimed that this renders the recount meaningless. He has additionally claimed incorrectly that the lack to match the signatures is the results of a consent decree signed by the state.
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In Georgia, the place the preliminary depend confirmed that Mr. Trump misplaced to President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. by several thousand votes, the recount course of doesn’t embody the reverification of signatures included with absentee ballots.
When absentee ballots are acquired by Georgia’s election officers, the signature on the envelope is matched to different signatures which might be a part of the voter’s file. As soon as that’s verified, the envelope containing the signature is separated from the poll to guard the secrecy of the voter’s alternative. Voters whose signatures don’t match these on file are notified and requested for clarification.
The envelopes and ballots are retained for 2 years. However as a result of they’ve been separated to guard voters’ privateness, there is no such thing as a longer a method to match ballots to envelopes. As such, rechecking signatures in a recount could be meaningless.
The same process is adopted in different states, and Georgia’s means of separating ballots from signature envelopes has nothing to do with any consent decree.
Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, has said that the state educated election officers on signature matching. Greater than 1.three million folks voted by absentee poll in Georgia within the basic election.
Mr. Raffensperger additionally has accused fellow Republicans of making an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the state’s election in an effort to swing the outcomes to Mr. Trump.
In an interview with The Washington Post on Monday, Mr. Raffensperger stated that Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina had requested him about attainable ways in which ballots might be disqualified, together with whether or not the secretary of state may reject all absentee ballots in counties that had a excessive variety of signature mismatches.
Mr. Graham, chatting with reporters on Capitol Hill on Monday, denied that he had recommended to Mr. Raffensperger that he discover a method to throw out legally solid ballots. He stated that his dialog with the secretary of state coated questions on Georgia’s system of verifying signatures with absentee ballots.
Election officers in Georgia additionally introduced Monday night that that they had found 2,600 ballots in Floyd County that had not been beforehand reported to the state, an error they attributed to “gross incompetence” on the a part of the county’s elections director. The newly found ballots will scale back Mr. Biden’s margin by a number of hundred votes, they stated — not sufficient to place his victory in jeopardy.