ATLANTA, GA – Georgia voting officials have begun investigating allegations that a ballot harvesting scheme was employed in the state during the 2020 election that could have potentially impacted the state’s general election and two U.S. Senate runoff races that were ultimately won by Democratic challengers.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed that authorities are looking into the allegations that third-party activists may have picked up and delivered as many as thousands of absentee ballots on behalf of voters – through a method known as “harvesting”– and are considering the possibility of issuing subpoenas in order to secure potential evidence to back these claims.
It is not being alleged that the ballots themselves were tampered with in any way, or that the votes that were delivered are fraudulent; it is only being claimed that they were harvested, which is illegal in Georgia. In 2019, Democrat lawyer Marc Elias attempted to have the state’s harvesting ban overturned, but Raffensperger – who is seeking reelection in 2022 – prevented that from occurring.
Raffensperger made headlines in the wake of the 2020 election when he publicly reviewed and rejected claims made by former President Donald Trump – and as a result, drawing his considerable ire – that he had lost his bid for reelection due to widespread voter fraud.
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Reports indicate that Raffensperger’s office had received a complaint from a self-professed conservative voter integrity group called “True the Vote” on November 30 that claimed it had ample evidence of activists – including surveillance camera footage and geolocation data for over 200 cell phones – had collected and delivered thousands of absentee ballots in early-morning operations to temporary vote collection boxes that were established statewide while the threat of COVID-19 still loomed.
It is not currently known how or if True the Vote was able to identify the alleged activists, or how they purportedly acquired the specific geolocation data for their individual cell phones.
True the Vote have also said that they have interviewed a man – who they have declined to identify – who claims that he was paid “thousands of dollars” to engage in vote harvesting during both the 2020 election and the January 5, 2021 runoff for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats, both of which were won by Democrats, shifting the balance of power in the Senate.
Raffensperger has stated that the allegations by True the Vote are credible enough to warrant an investigation.