Republican lawyers examining a heretofore little-noticed settlement of a lawsuit between Georgia Democrats and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger last March continue to express shock over its details.
Raffensperger’s decision to allow signatures on absentee ballot applications to serve as the final determining factor in validating signatures on the envelopes containing those ballots has come under intense criticism from Republican officials that InsiderAdvantage has interviewed. It is one of the factors leading both U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler to call for Raffensperger’s resignation.
Loeffler and Perdue are locked in extremely difficult runoff races with their two Democratic opponents. InsiderAdvantage polled the race for FOX5 Atlanta television over a week ago and found Loeffler trailing Rev. Raphael Warnock by one point, with Perdue tied with Jon Ossoff. Meanwhile lawyers investigating the November election have related to top Republican leaders increasing concern about Raffensperger’s decisions. One attorney told InsiderAdvantage it “looks more like the work of a Democratic operative than that of even an unbiased Republican elected official.”
The latest shoe to drop is revelation that the settlement agreement contains a section entitled “Consideration of Additional Guidance for Signature Matching.” The section covers “providing the county registrars absentee ballot clerks with additional training” in determining if absentee ballot signatures are indeed valid. What shocked GOP attorneys, who knew nothing of the agreement signed as the state was headed toward the darkest days of Covid-19, was who was assigned the authority to train election officials. It required that “additional guidance and training materials” to be drafted by the “Political Party Committees’ handwriting and signature review expert.”
The “Political Parties” as described in the settlement were the Democratic Party of Georgia and two other Democratic entities. In other words, the settlement left the entire training for absentee signatures to Democrat experts!
Raffensperger’s settlement came under additional scrutiny when Fulton County GOP leaders learned recently that the county failed to use a sophisticated software purchased by the county designed to validate the signatures on envelopes containing absentee ballots. Election officials reportedly asserted that the software would not interface with their system and that some 145,000 ballots were all inspected by individual poll workers.
“The lawyers for the Democrats in this case are very sophisticated” a GOP attorney stated. “But to give them such unilateral influence is highly suspect, particularly given the decisions to create drop boxes and to flood the state with absentee ballot requests. Why would there not have been a Republican handwriting expert included?”
GOP lawyers also suggest that another major issue involving Raffensperger and Fulton County officials is coming in “a matter of days.”
Patrick Hickey is a staff writer for InsiderAdvantage Georgia.