Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, has announced that an audit of the state’s voting machines has been completed, and no issues have been discovered. The announcement is another undercut to the claim from the president and his allies that election-related software was turned against the Trump campaign across the United States. Trump himself has trumpeted the claim that millions of his votes were “deleted” across the country — but the Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that there’s no evidence that this alleged mass vote deletion actually took place.
In Georgia, Secretary of State Raffensperger “ordered Pro V&V, a U.S. Election Assistance Commission certified testing laboratory, to do an audit of a random sample of machines to confirm no hack or tamper,” according to a press release from Raffensperger’s office, and there was “no evidence of the machines being tampered” with. Raffensperger said as follows:
‘We are glad but not surprised that the audit of the state’s voting machines was an unqualified success. Election security has been a top priority since day one of my administration. We have partnered with the Department of Homeland Security, the Georgia Cyber Center, Georgia Tech security experts, and [a] wide range of other election security experts around the state and country so Georgia voters can be confident that their vote is safe and secure.’
Besides the voting machine audit, Georgia has been conducting a hand recount. President Trump has complained about this recount, alleging that the procedure is essentially pointless because of a lack of signature re-checks during the recount process. When mail-in ballots are initially received by the state of Georgia, the envelope — containing the voter’s signature — and the ballot that it contained are separated immediately following the initial round of signature verification. Thus, there’s no legitimate way for signatures to be re-checked at all. Trump’s complaints about the recount therefore reveal a striking level of incompetence regarding the process.
Before Biden’s win in the state during this year’s presidential race, Georgia hadn’t gone to a Democratic presidential nominee since Bill Clinton was on the ballot in 1992. Although the Senator contested Raffensperger’s version of events, the Georgia Secretary of State says that Lindsey Graham “asked him about possible ways that ballots could be disqualified, including whether the secretary of state could reject all absentee ballots in counties that had a high number of signature mismatches,” The New York Times reports. Graham has countered that his conversation merely “covered questions about Georgia’s system of verifying signatures with absentee ballots,” the Times adds. Nevertheless, his election-meddling seems appalling.