The Trump campaign legal team described suitcases full of ballot papers Thursday in presentations to Georgia state lawmakers that included a video and a call to lawmakers to nominate voters to vote for president.
Other Georgia state officials and local authorities meanwhile said the November 3 elections in Peach State went smoothly without widespread electoral fraud.
In successive hearings at the Atlanta Capitol, the Senate government oversight and justice committees sorted the controversies and allegations that arose from the vote.
Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Michigan state lawmakers also held election-related hearings this week. The Trump legal team has filed lawsuits in these states as well as in Wisconsin and Nevada.
Trump campaign lawyers made arguments in a court in Nevada Thursday, questioning findings in that state, and calling on witnesses to produce evidence.
Here are the highlights of the two Georgia hearings.
1. Suitcase full of ballots?
In the major media, Joe Biden was forecast as the election winner on November 7th. The former Vice President received more than the required 270 votes. But President Donald Trump has not admitted as his campaign pursues legal options.
The electoral college will vote on December 14th, and those votes will be officially counted by Congress on January 6th.
The Trump legal team in Georgia made a video presentation of what the lawyers have described as – and it appeared – that the votes continued to be counted after the trial was allegedly halted.
An election worker asked observers and the press to leave the State Farm Arena in Atlanta for more than two hours on election night. Fulton County’s ballot counting would be temporarily suspended, said Jackie Pick, who told the judicial committee of the Trump team’s video presentation.
The video appeared to show that after the absence of voluntary observers and reporters, several election workers remained behind and the votes continued to count unobserved until the early morning of November 4th.
The video appeared to show how election workers – obviously without knowing or not bothering that cameras were still running – pulled four suitcases from under tables after the others had left the room.
“What do these ballot papers do there separately from all the other ballot papers? And why do they only count them when the place is cleared without witnesses? “Pick asked the legislature.
WATCH: Video footage from Georgia shows suitcases of ballot papers pulled from under a table after regulators told poll workers to leave the room and 4 people stayed behind to keep counting the votes. Pic.twitter.com/AcbTI1pxn4
– Team Trump (@TeamTrump) December 3, 2020
“These machines can process around 3,000 ballots per hour. They have several machines there. You’re there for two hours. So do the math, “said Pick, adding:
How many ballot papers went through these machines in those two hours when no one was there to oversee tabulation, to be present, in accordance with your statutes and rules? We believe this could be easy and is likely beyond profitability in this race.
2. About this water leak
Fulton County, the largest of Georgia’s 159 counties, conducted an exemplary poll, argued Robb Pitts, chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners.
“I can tell you without a doubt that there has been no unusual activity in Fulton County. I was personally involved, ”Pitts told the Government Oversight Committee, adding:
Has there been a situation from time to time where there was a problem with the technology? Yes. Was there a situation where human error may have occurred? As for an orchestrated effort to manipulate the votes in Fulton County, it is not. I challenged anyone who made these allegations to come forward and bring this information to me and I will take it seriously and we will get to the bottom of this.
Much of the news from Georgia on election day had to do with a water leak that led to a temporary cessation of election workers’ activities.
Republican Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller asked Pitts about it.
“People see ghosts in shadows and we need you to expand on that if you don’t mind,” Miller said.
Pitts said rumors about the incident had taken on a life of their own and assured the committee that it wasn’t an issue.
“There was an upstairs leak counting ballots in the State Farm Arena, according to Steve Koonin, CEO of the Atlanta Hawks, who performed at 6:07 a.m. [Nov. 3]”Pitts said.” At 8:07 am it was fixed in two hours. “
“No ballot papers were damaged,” he said. “No equipment was damaged. End of the story. I don’t know how it became what it is. ”
3. Call to nominate voters
Biden won Georgia by only about 12,500 votes, Ray Smith, the state’s lead attorney for the Trump team, reminded the judiciary committee.
However, 2,506 offenders in Georgia voted illegally, Smith told the committee. He said another 2,423 voters were not registered to vote. 1,043 of those who cast ballot papers registered in a P.O. Box; and 4,926 voted despite registration to vote after the deadline.
On November 20, Georgia confirmed results that showed the state had chosen Biden.
“Because of the irregularities and pathetic failure of the secretary of state for this state and the counties to properly conduct elections, it is impossible to confirm the results of the 2020 presidential election,” Smith told lawmakers.
Georgian Foreign Secretary Brad Raffensperger is Republican but set fire to Trump supporters for saying the state’s election operations went smoothly.
Smith said 10,315 ballots appeared to have been cast by voters who were dead on election day, and an additional 395 voters cast ballots in Georgia and another state – which, if true, would violate at least two state laws.
Smith also claimed that 15,700 people filed a change of address with the U.S. Postal Service prior to Nov. 3, and 40,279 voted after moving across county lines without re-registering in their new district at least 30 days before election day.
The Trump campaign legal team filed a lawsuit in the Fulton County Superior Court to challenge the result in Georgia, he said.
“Usually an election campaign under Georgian law is a new election. That would certainly be a possible remedy in this case, ”said Smith. “We ask the court to order a new election.”
He said, however, that lawmakers must act to appoint voters, referring to the US Constitution’s provision that “each state appoints in a manner that lawmaker can instruct a number of voters equal to the total number of senators and representative corresponds to whom the state may be eligible in Congress. “
Georgia has 16 electoral votes.
“However, since the presidential election is actually a delegation of your constitutional duties as a legislator, you, as the Georgian legislature, are the body that selects the presidential elections,” said Smith.
State Senator Elena Parent, a Democrat, disapproved of the idea that lawmakers are exploiting their ability to nominate a new group of voters, presumably for Trump rather than Biden.
“I think the courts can handle it once you have given them your evidence,” the parent said. “As I know, about 40 lawsuits have been dismissed, and Georgia state law does not allow us to submit alternative voters. The legal provision is very clear. “
4. “No wrong winner announced?”
Georgia has some of the strictest electoral laws in the United States, including laws against harvesting ballot papers and accepting votes after election day, Ryan Germany, general counsel to the Georgia Secretary of State Office, told the Government Oversight Committee.
Germany said the COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in a massive spike in postal votes, putting a huge burden on local poll workers.
However, the Foreign Minister’s office did not identify any problems of concern.
“We saw nothing that would indicate widespread fraud or widespread problems with the voting system,” Germany told the committee.
The office has 230 open election-related investigations, he said.
“I don’t think cheating is the right word. I see it more as legal or illegal voices, ”said Germany.
He gave numbers that were significantly lower than those given by the Trump campaign attorney.
“We have around 300 cases of alleged double votes, people who were absent and on election day,” said Germany, adding:
We look at that. That is significantly less than in elementary school based on some protective measures we put in place. We have around 70 cases of potential crime. So this is what we’re looking at. We didn’t see anything to suggest widespread fraud or widespread problems with the voting system.
The parents asked, “No evidence that the machine changed its voices?”
Germany replied: “Right.”
“No evidence that the wrong Georgia presidential election winner was announced?” Parents asked.
“Right,” replied Germany.
Germany found that the voter dropboxes contained cameras that could be checked by election officials to ensure fraud was not occurring.
The Trump campaign has asked for a signature check to verify the legality of Georgia’s postal vote.
Germany said investigations are based on complaints citing evidence. Therefore, the Foreign Minister’s office will not conduct a nationwide signature check on all postal ballot papers.
“We look at this against each individual, specific complaint that we receive. I think people are asking us to look at them all, all 1.6 million, because some [absentee ballots] were not returned, “said Germany.
“To be honest, I’m not sure we are allowed to,” he said. “I’m not sure that is appropriate. We are opening our investigation because of actionable complaints. “
But Republican Senator Steve Gooch was concerned.
“We just voted the most powerful person in the world,” said Gooch. “How can we confirm this election this week when we know that a quarter of the ballot papers have not been peer-reviewed or reviewed?”
Germany spoke out in favor of requiring voters to show photo identification, but turned to lawmakers to prevent lawmakers from running apologetic postal votes – meaning a person does not have to give a reason not to vote in person.
“In 2005, when we switched to photo ID, this body went to a party line vote for an excuse-free postal vote that did not require an identity card,” Germany told the senators. “So this is our law. So we certify it because it obeyed the law. “