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Raffensperger racket revealed

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has been running crooked elections since taking office – and now stands exposed.

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Yesterday’s action by the Georgia Board of Elections reveals at last the racket Georgia’s highest election official was running. In two votes, that Board brought an order to the election process nearly every other State has. But in so doing, they revealed just how sloppy Georgia elections have been. And we now know who made them sloppy: Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. He rates removal and disqualification from office on impeachment and conviction for what he did. Furthermore, all media organs who consistently apologized for that man, and explained away everything that happened in Georgia, owe their consumers – and the American people – an apology.

What the Board did – to plug a security hole Raffensperger left open

To understand how the Board could have done what they did, recall that Brad Raffensperger is only one member. In fact, the Georgia legislature passed a bill to remove him from the Board and have the Board investigate him. At last report that bill passed both chambers of the Legislature on March 26 – but nothing has happened since. Absent any further reports, we must assume that Gov. Brian Kemp (R-Ga.) vetoed it. Kemp and Raffensperger go back a long way, since Kemp held the Secretaryship of State. A leftist case in the federal courts implicates both men in dirty Georgia elections over six years. Curling v. Raffensperger, case no. 1:17-cv-02989, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta Division), The Hon. Amy M. Totenberg, presiding.

Yesterday, according to Liz Harrington, the Board voted 3-1 to adopt a basic reconciliation rule. The chief of precinct (called a “poll manager”) and two subordinate Officers of Election (OOEs), must physically count every ballot that goes through the scanner-tabulator. If that total does not match the scanner’s “public count,” the chief must investigate and explain the discrepancy.

The [chief] and two … sworn … officers [of election] … shall unseal and open each scanner ballot box, remove the paper ballots from each ballot box, record the date and time that the ballot box was emptied and present to three sworn [OOEs] to independently count the total number of ballots removed from the scanner, sorting into stacks of 50 ballots continuing until all of the ballots have been counted separately by each of the three [OOEs]. When all three officers arrive at the same ballot count independently, they shall each sign a control document containing the polling place, ballot scanner serial number, election name, printed name with signature and date and time of the ballot hand count. If the numbers recorded on the precinct [electronic poll books], ballot marking devices [BMDs], and scanner recap forms do not reconcile with the hand count ballot totals, the [chief] shall immediately determine the reason for the inconsistency, correct the inconsistency if possible, and fully document the inconsistency or problem along with any corrective measures taken.

This rule had been in place before, though apparently sporadically – until October 6, 2022. On that day, Mr. Blake Evans, “Elections Director,” ordered the chiefs not to count physical ballots.

I know that many counties have received an email requesting that poll workers hand count ballots at polling places on election night. Deciding to have poll workers hand count ballots at each polling location on election night is not something your poll workers should do.

In order to ensure maximum security for the voted ballots, poll workers should not prolong the process of removing ballots from ballot boxes and sealing them in transport containers. This process should be done efficiently, transparently, and immediately after the polls have closed and votes have been cast. Members of the public can observe the process.

The order for that memorandum must have come from Secretary Raffensperger’s office. Furthermore we must assume that the enforcement of the old rule was hit or miss by county.


Another new rule – and eye-opening testimony

The Board also voted 4-0 to adopt a rule requiring a public reconciliation report from each county. Number of voters checked in, and number of votes cast, must match – or the election superintendent must explain why not. This rule came about because, on May 21, 2024, DeKalb County reported checking in 94,317 voters, who cast 185,536 votes. That’s as if nearly every checked-in voter voted twice.

But even that wasn’t the most sensational happening before the Board. That came when Mr. Philip Davis showed that thousands of duplicate ballots were counted in Georgia – in 2020.

You’ll see that they took batches from tabulator 794, batches 8 through 11. They brought it to tabulator 791. They then started grabbing pieces of those four batches. And with those four pieces, they met up brand new batches for tabulator 794. Some of the ballots were in reverse order. They were from multiple batches. In the very first one, you can see that they took batch 22, 20 ballots in reverse, batch 23, four ballots in normal order, batch 20, 10 ballots in reverse, batch 23, five more ballots, and so on. This pattern repeats over and over for tabulator 794…

…We see the exact same pattern repeated with a different set of ballots. So once again, they got ballots from tabulator 791. They grabbed four sets of batches. They did create a brand new batches by picking and choosing pieces out of those other batches to make the new batches… That would be tabulator 74 batches 20 through 26.

Mr. Davis went on to call for a full independent investigation.

These actions by the Georgia Board of Elections could be the only actions anyone can take. The Georgia Secretary of State’s office has already filed, in Curling, a “notice of supplemental authority.” Citing the Supreme Court’s ruling in FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, the State intends to move to dismiss for lack of plaintiffs’ standing, if they haven’t already done so. (The docket listing already runs to eleven pages, and the Notice made no reference to an earlier document.)

Raffensperger is responsible

One man alone bears responsibility for what happened in the Election of 2020: Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. But if, as CNAV suspects, Gov. Kemp vetoed the bill removing Raffensperger from the Election Board and authorizing an investigation of him, then Kemp is responsible for keeping him around. But as Donna Curling (the original plaintiff) has always alleged, Kemp and Raffensperger have been running crooked elections in Georgia for years.


The Election Board should not have waited for citizens’ petitions to impel them to act as they did yesterday. To send even sealed boxes of ballots back to the registrar’s (or superintendent’s) office without a physical ballot count, violates every concept of election security. It lends direct credence to the Suitcase Scandal at Fulton County.

Certain members of the media – including Erick-Woods Erickson, who has repeatedly asserted that he can explain everything the country saw on surveillance tapes from the Atlanta State Farm Arena on November 3-4, 2020 – owe every Trump supporter an apology. (That also goes for Carl M. Cannon of RealClearPolitics, who complained that Trump lies all the time.) By voting to require ballot reconciliation, the Election Board acknowledged that election security was seriously deficient. And by his presentation, Philip Davis clearly showed how the Big Steal happened in Georgia. This, more than any misconduct by the Fulton County District Attorney or any Special Prosecutor, should be grounds to dismiss the case of Georgia v. Trump.

How ballot reconciliation is properly handled – a direct example

For perspective, your editor is a ranking Officer of Election, who recently ran a primary as Chief of Precinct. (That’s the equivalent of a “poll manager” in our unit.) Reconciliation of the type that is now the rule State-wide in Georgia, has always been the rule in our jurisdiction.

During an election, OOEs check:

  1. Voters checked-in on Electronic Poll Books,
  2. Ballots cast at the scanner-tabulator, and
  3. Provisional ballots (if any) issued and voted.

The sum of provisional and scanned ballots must match the number of voters checked-in. If they do not match, the Chief must explain why they don’t match. Also, at close of polls, at least two OOEs (including the Chief or his previously designated Assistant) physically count the ballots that went through the scanner. If they don’t match the Public Count (plus any Provisional Ballots voted), then again: the Chief must explain this.

Finally, the Chief and his team document everything. They record, on separate tally sheets, voters checked in, and ballots supplied, opened, cast, marked provisionally, and spoiled. The scanner produces a Zero Tape before polls open, and a Results Tape showing all candidates and the number of votes for each. The Chief calls these results in to the Registrar. He then returns to the office, bringing with him all unused, cast, provisional, and spoiled ballots, and all tally sheets. Ballots remain under seal (signed by the entire team) unless a candidate petitions for a recount. And recounts are done by hand.


How to secure elections in future

Counting the actual votes would present a problem in most elections in our unit. Our precincts use the Australian Ballot, which lists all races and public questions, and candidates and options for each, on one sheet of paper, which might or might not have printing on both sides. To count all votes in all races and public questions would require handling each ballot at least twice per race. (Fair counting must be redundant.)

The French have a solution: supply separate pieces of paper (bulletins) for every vote a voter wishes to cast. (The French don’t accommodate write-in candidates, but a bulletin for write-in votes would be a simple design.)Vote-counting teams could handle these twice only. The French system even has a procedure for voting by proxy. Any voter anticipating not being able to vote in person, must pre-register a proxy with the local commissaire de police or court. To have Americans register proxies at their local police precinct, sheriff’s station, City Hall, Government Center, or court clerk would be simplicity itself.

In short, voters everywhere should agitate for a return to paper ballots, precinct hand counts, and in-person, same-day voting.

That will take time. But one thing Georgia voters can address now. Brad Raffensperger has committed impeachable offenses against election integrity. Georgia voters shouldn’t have to wait two years to “primary” him. The legislature should impeach and remove him at once – then consider a paper-ballot solution.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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