It was mostly business as usual during the first State Election Board meeting after SB 202 was signed into law, removing Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger from his role as chair.
At the start of the meeting, Republican vice chair Rebecca Sullivan thanked Raffensperger for his leadership on the board, and David Worley, the lone Democrat, tore into lawmakers for making changes.
“First of all, it is always, always bad public policy to base legislation on a lie,” he said. “Unfortunately, that is what happened with the passage of SB 202.”
The new law gives the General Assembly the power to appoint a new chair, although, after making a big deal about it, state lawmakers failed to do so before the end of the legislative session. The appointment now falls to Gov. Brian Kemp, who hasn’t done so, either.
During the nearly seven-hour Zoom meeting, the board dismissed cases claiming absentee ballot fraud with the November election in Cobb County after a Georgia Bureau of Investigation audit of more than 15,000 ballots found no fraudulent ballots.
As GOP board member Matt Mashburn put it: “There was nothing to it.”
Still, the meeting was not without conspiracy discussion.
The newly elected chair of the Cobb County Republican Party berated the board for acting like “cavalier cowboys” and claimed, without providing evidence, that there was fraud after she and another woman claimed Cobb shredded ballots after November’s election. The videos they showed as evidence to investigators and lawmakers last year clearly showed empty privacy envelopes, marked as such, being taken away.
Other cases that will go to the attorney general’s office include a handful of instances of double voting (including someone who said memory loss made him forget), a Cobb gun store that held a rifle raffle for voters, a Democratic state representative wearing a campaign shirt too close to a polling place and a rural Georgia supervisor who failed to hold a runoff in a race that nobody won.
This story comes to The Current through a reporting partnership with GPB News, a non-profit newsroom covering the state of Georgia.