Monday, June 21, 2021 by News Editors
When Fulton County, Ga., poll manager Suzi Voyles sorted through a large stack of mail-in ballots last November, she noticed an alarmingly odd pattern of uniformity in the markings for Joseph R. Biden. One after another, the absentee votes contained perfectly filled-in ovals for Biden — except that each of the darkened bubbles featured an identical white void inside them in the shape of a tiny crescent, indicating they’d been marked with toner ink instead of a pen or pencil.
(Article by Paul Sperry republished from RealClearInvestigations.com)
Adding to suspicions, she noticed that all of the ballots were printed on different stock paper than the others she handled as part of a statewide hand recount of the razor-thin Nov. 3 presidential election. And none was folded or creased, as she typically observed in mail-in ballots that had been removed from envelopes.
In short, the Biden votes looked like they’d been duplicated by a copying machine.
“All of them were strangely pristine,” said Voyles, who said she’d never seen anything like it in her 20 years monitoring elections in Fulton County, which includes much of Atlanta.
She wasn’t alone. At least three other poll workers observed the same thing in stacks of absentee ballots for Biden processed by the county, and they have joined Voyles in swearing under penalty of perjury that they looked fake.
Now election watchdogs have used their affidavits to help convince a state judge to unseal all of the 147,000 mail-in ballots counted in Fulton and allow a closer inspection of the suspicious Biden ballots for evidence of counterfeiting. They argue that potentially tens of thousands may have been manufactured in a race that Biden won by just 12,000 votes thanks to a late surge of mail-in ballots counted after election monitors were shooed from State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
“We have what is almost surely major absentee-ballot fraud in Fulton County involving 10,000 to 20,000 probably false ballots,” said Garland Favorito, the lead petitioner in the case and a certified poll watcher who runs VoterGa.org, one of the leading advocates for election integrity in the state.
He said the suspect ballots remain in the custody of the election officials and inaccessible from public view.
“We have confirmed that there are five pallets of shrink-wrapped ballots in a county warehouse,” Favorito said in an interview with RealClearInvestigations.
He and other petitioners were ordered to meet at the warehouse May 28 to settle the terms of the inspection of the absentee ballots. But the day before the scheduled meeting, the county filed a flurry of motions to dismiss the case, delaying the inspection indefinitely.
“We will be in court on June 21 to resolve these motions,” said Favorito, calling them another “roadblock” the county has tried to throw in their way. He expects talks over the logistics of the inspection to resume after the Fourth of July holiday.
As part of his May 21 order, Superior Court Judge Brian Amero requested officials guard the warehouse around the clock until an inspection date can be set. But just eight days later, a breach in security was reported after sheriff’s deputies left their post for a couple of hours.
“The front door was [found] unlocked and wide open in violation of the court order,” Favorito said.
County officials confirmed that a motion-detection alarm was triggered Saturday, May 29, shortly after the deputies drove away from the building in their patrol cars around 4 p.m. But they said a locked room where the ballots are kept “was never breached or compromised.”
Favorito is not convinced, and his lawyer is seeking to obtain the video footage from building security cameras. “How do we know for certain there was no tampering with the ballots?” asked Favorito, who said he did not vote for Donald Trump.
News of the security lapse caught the attention of the former President, who has claimed his loss to Biden was marred by fraud. In a statement, he implied election officials in the Democratic-controlled county are trying to hide evidence of fraud. “They are afraid of what might be found,” he asserted.
Trump is also closely monitoring the ongoing election audit in Arizona, another red state that turned blue in 2020. If evidence of fraud is found in these key swing states, it might help confirm suspicions the election was “stolen” from Trump and the 74 million who voted for him — as a recent poll found 61% of Republicans believe — as well as provide the proof of voter fraud that Democrats and major media have long claimed doesn’t exist.
The cases could potentially give other battleground states incentive to take steps to tighten election security and root out fraud, including passing legislation to limit the use of controversial mail-in drop boxes and require the verification of signatures on such ballots. In Georgia, relatively few mail-in ballots were rejected for invalid signatures in the November general election, even though several thousand had been disqualified for signature issues in the primary election.
In a move that inspired national boycotts alleging voter “suppression,” Georgia recently passed a law limiting, but not removing, the drop boxes. The state had installed them for the first time in 2020 under pressure from Democratic groups, who argued officials needed to make voting easier for minorities who didn’t trust the mail and feared going to the polls during the COVID scare.
The 38 drop boxes Fulton distributed throughout the county in the November election will be cut to eight in the future. The boxes had been largely unregulated and unattended — located outdoors, open 24 hours a day and available for drop-offs until the evening of Election Day, prompting complaints of ballot stuffing and double voting. But now they have to be located inside election offices or early voting locations, and can only be available during the hours when early voting is permitted. The new law also requires ballots be printed on special security paper.
Voting by mail traditionally was limited to voters who had clearly defined and well-documented reasons to be absent from the polls. But Democrats in key swing states lobbied to relax the rules in the middle of the election and amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Mail-in or drop-off ballots create opportunities for voter error and fraud. In a typical election, one in 20 mailed ballots are rejected, according to recent studies. More than 534,000 mail-in ballots were rejected during the 2020 Democratic primaries alone.
Still, both Republican and Democratic officials in Georgia say they have found no credible evidence of widespread fraud in the general election. Democrats, as well as many major media outlets, have written off Favorito’s group’s allegations of fraud as “conspiracy theories.”
“This is nothing more than a circus that’s being put on by those who promote the ‘big lie’ ” that Trump won the election, said Robb Pitts, the Democratic chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. “Where does it end? The votes have been counted. The elections have been certified. It’s over.”
Pitts effectively controls the county elections board through his Democratic appointee Mary Carole Cooney, who runs the board. They are in charge of securing the pallets of disputed Biden mail-in ballots awaiting inspection in the county warehouse.
But Judge Amero, who federal elections records show is a Democratic donor, felt compelled to unseal the ballots for a forensics review after reading the sworn affidavits submitted by election monitors. Here are key witnesses in the case:
“Most of the ballots had already been handled; they had been written on by people, and the edges were worn. They showed obvious use,” she wrote in her Nov. 17 affidavit. “However, one batch stood out. It was pristine. There was a difference in the texture of the paper,” and these mail-in ballots hadn’t been folded even though they ostensibly had been removed from envelopes.
All but three of the 110 ballots in the bundle — which had been labeled “State Farm Arena” — were marked for Biden and appeared to be “identical ballots.”
The most “alarming peculiarity” was the identically marked ovals next to Biden’s name. In every ballot, “The bubble next to ‘Joseph R. Biden’ had a slight white eclipse in the bubble,” she said, leading her to believe that the batch of 107 Biden ballots had been “copied” from a single ballot.
Voyles speculated that “additional absentee ballots had been added [for Biden] in a fraudulent manner” at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta on election night.
The void she and other auditors witnessed in the exact same spot of the oval filled in on 107 ballots for Biden “was alarming to us,” Voyles said in an RCI interview. “Every single bubble was precisely alike. I had never seen that before in 20 years” of election monitoring.
But when she and other recount workers raised concerns with county election officials, “we were told not to worry about it,” she said. “They seemed uninterested in the [integrity of the] ballots.”
After Voyles later blew the whistle in affidavits and state election hearings, she was fired as a poll manager by the Fulton County Department of Elections. “I got the boot for speaking the truth,” she told RCI.
The veteran poll watchers found no plausible explanation for the anomalies other than possible fraud.
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