Voter fraud probe advances as elections board approves subpoenas

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Georgia’s ballot harvesting probe advances as state elections board have approved subpoena power that allows Secretary of State investigators to compel testimony delivery of evidence, and it is the power that is sending Democrats into a panic.

The news about an ongoing Georgia investigation that was started in January of 2022, addresses whether third-party liberal activists illegally gathered thousands of absentee ballots in the 2020 general election and a subsequent runoff- and it now has gotten a boost of energy.

A group called True the Vote has been instrumental in numerous states organizing official complaints about the election that has resulted in forcing the government to investigate their claims of voter fraud.

The focus of the election is on a GA Senate race that was won suspiciously, and determined Democrat control of the U.S. Senate, after a highly problematic General election just weeks prior.

The new power was a major win for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, guided by True the Vote, who announced the investigation into alleged ballot harvesting in January and was seeking the subpoena authority to assist the probe.

Now Raffensperger’s team can get evidence about a whistleblower who alleged to an election integrity group that he participated in a large operation to gather ballots in which activists were paid $10 for each ballot they delivered

Under Georgia law, it is illegal for any third party to pick up and drop off ballots for voters, also known as ballot harvesting. According to reports, at least 242 people made over 5,000 ballot drop-offs during the Georgia Senate runoff elections.

“Credible evidence was given to us that people were harvesting ballots,” said Raffensperger to The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat. “This information was provided to us and they said there’s a witness, a ‘John Doe.’ And so we’re looking at subpoenaing that person to get the information.”

Georgia law expressly prohibits third parties from collecting, gathering or delivering absentee ballots, except in the case of immediate relatives.

A vote on the subpoena was delayed by weeks as the Election Board could not decide on a new chairman. But at a meeting last week, the board unanimously chose member Matthew Mashburn to be the acting chairman, Just the News reported.

The board then voted out the subpoena in a closed session, according to audio of the meeting reviewed by Just the News.

“All the board members are here,” Mashburn said after emerging from the closed-door session. “A quorum is in order. We went into executive session for purposes of discussing pending and potential litigation and for the board to authorize subpoenas in case no. 2020-10-Dougherty County and 2022-003 ballot harvesting.”

Raffensperger’s office told media that they would secure evidence from the election integrity group True the Vote, who filed a complaint in November saying it had acquired evidence including videotapes, a whistleblower’s admission and cell phone location records.

True the Vote has told media that they have proof showing what appeared to be a widespread ballot harvesting operation in the November 2020 general election and January 2021 election runoff.

The group said a cooperating whistleblower to whom it granted John Doe anonymity admitted he, and a group of other people, were paid $10 for each ballot.

“John Doe described a network of non-governmental organizations that worked together to facilitate a ballot trafficking scheme in Georgia,” True the Vote wrote in its complaint.

“John Doe claimed to have been one of many individuals paid to collect and deliver absentee ballots during the early voting periods of the November 2020 General Election and the January 2021 Runoff Election.”

Just the News reported further:

Raffensperger, who in 2019 led an effort to update state law to explicitly outlaw harvesting, told Just the News earlier this month that his investigators want to secure the identity and cooperation of the whistleblower and to follow the money to who funded the operation.

“We need to get a subpoena for the fella who this John Doe is,” Raffensperger explained. “Was he paid? How much was he paid? And then who paid him. And we’re going to follow the money, and we’re going get to the bottom of it. And we’re going to prosecute this if we find that there’s substance to it.”

State law currently allows only the ballot traffickers to be prosecuted and does not invalidate the ballots of voters who are lawfully registered to vote but give their ballot to a third party.

Some state officials told Just the News they have been privately discussing asking the Georgia legislature to create penalties for voters who surrender their ballots to a third party, Just the News reported. 

The Georgia investigation comes as other states have begun turning up evidence of ballot harvesting during the 2020 election.

Arizona has prosecuted several activists for illegally collecting third-party ballots, while the former state Supreme Court justice named to oversee an election integrity probe in Wisconsin recently offered evidence that third parties may have cast ballots on behalf of physically or mentally incapacitated nursing home residents.

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