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Georgia Secretary Of State Addresses Concerns Over Election Policies

Provided By - Video Elephant on November 23, 2021
NEWSY'S CHANCE SEALES: The end of 2021 is fast approaching but fights over the 2020 election are still playing out in court. Take a look at this headline from last month: "Georgia ballot inspection case dismissed after no fraud found." The lawsuit was filed by supporters of former President Donald Trump. They wanted an outside review of absentee ballots from Fulton County, Georgia, but investigators told the court there were no counterfeit ballots to be found. And the next day a judge tossed out their case. It was the last major lawsuit over Georgia's 2020 election. Remember, ballots were counted three times, including once by hand in a risk-limiting audit. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger responded to the now-dismissed lawsuit. He tweeted, "Georgia's elections were accurate and secure, and the courts continue to affirm that fact." Let's bring in the man behind that tweet tonight for more insight. He's Georgia's secretary of state and author of the new book "Integrity Counts." Brad Raffensperger, thank you for joining me. GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE BRAD RAFFENSPERGER: You're welcome. SEALES: Mr. Secretary, you call that recent election accurate and secure. But the state of Georgia's legislature tightened up rules. Some applied to your office, like not being able to send absentee ballots unless they are specifically requested by a voter or their loved one. If things were accurate and secure. What problems did the new voting law fix?RAFFENSPERGER: Well No. 1, we moved away from signature match and migrated to the driver's license number with photo ID for identification for absentee ballot. That was really something that I think helps strengthen the system, strengthens confidence. We have been sued by both the Democrat Party and the Republican Party over signature match. They said it was subjective so we used driver's license number and your birthday day, month, year. That's very similar to what they've been using in Minnesota for 10 years now.  SEALES: You lay out a few of the things that may be benefits, like being able to easily match an ID. But there are some drawbacks in the eyes of people who are opponents of this law where drop off boxes are going to be, who has to be around them. If people can have, you know, water in line or something like that, give out gifts. Another big concern under the Georgia Election Integrity Act of 2021 is the state Election Board. I think you're an ex-officio member of that board, right?RAFFENSPERGER: Non-voting ex officio. Yes. SEALES: And so there are I believe four voting members. But under this new law they can suspend and then replace local election officials deemed negligent, malfeasant or nonfeasant had to look that one up. I've never heard that word before. That worries a lot of people. This politicized outcome is possible with four people choosing the people who are going to be deciding elections. Should we worry?RAFFENSPERGER: Well, first of all, there's a process in place. You have to have a review panel that consists of one Democrat Election Board member, a Republican Election Board member and our general counsel. They do a deep dive with a review panel so there's due process throughout that process. But if you look at what happened in Florida years ago, they had issues, both Broward County and Palm Beach County. Gov. Scott fired one of the election directors and then Gov. DeSantis fired another. You don't hear about those counties anymore. So now for the very first time, we have accountability measures that are in place. And this is really specifically, if you talk about Fulton County, the review panel right now, the AJC has been talking about Fulton County since 1993. That's nearly 30 years ago. It's high time that things improve in Fulton County. It's not just Fulton county residents, but the entire state of Georgia when over 10% of your voters live in one county.SEALES: Mr. Secretary, You were put through the wringer, your family's put through the wringer. President Trump hates you, he says, pretty much. You know, Republicans in Georgia seemed to turn on you. There was this one political article that stuck with me. The headline said: "He's toast." I don't know if you saw that article, but that's how a lot of people felt. Why do you want this job again? RAFFENSPERGER: Well I've shown I'm one of the few people, if not the only person that will stand in the gap and make sure that we have honest and fair elections in Georgia. I'll make sure that we have continuity in this office. And I'll make sure that we're going to continue to improve the process for all voters. So now we have an accountability measure to keep lines shorter than one hour, and we'll be implementing that to make sure that voters have a great voting


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