Election integrity — understanding the opportunity for fraud

Guest column by Tom Peterson
Posted 12/10/20

As chairman of the Elbert County Republicans, I have a unique perspective on election integrity. I approve the Republican election judges, I am the official Republican poll watcher, and I’m the …

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Election integrity — understanding the opportunity for fraud


As chairman of the Elbert County Republicans, I have a unique perspective on election integrity. I approve the Republican election judges, I am the official Republican poll watcher, and I’m the Election Day point of contact for Republican candidates and the state party. I observe the Dominion consultant working with the elections manager to generate the results on Election Night. Finally, I’m the Republican representative (or my designee) responsible for witnessing the pre-election ballot equipment testing and the post-election testing, canvassing, and election certification.

Having said all that, I believe we should have confidence in the accuracy of the election results in Elbert County and correspondingly, we should have concerns of the accuracy of election results in counties that violate the checks and balances, accountability procedures and transparency measures that we consider standard practice. Rudy Giuliani made an interesting comment, “They are not going to cheat in Republican counties or neutral counties. The cheating will be in the big urban counties where there isn’t any accountability.” In other words, they don’t need to cheat everywhere, just in targeted counties where it can make a difference.

In the mail-in process, the ballots are at the mercy of the USPS and there isn’t ANY CONTROL until they are received back by the Elections Department. The Elbert County Elections Department mailed out 21,000 ballots and approximately 600 or 3% were returned undeliverable. In comparison, in Wayne County (Detroit), Michigan, with a population of 1.7 million, I would estimate there were between 30,000 to 40,000 undeliverable ballots that floated around and I’m sure many in groups by the dozen from nursing homes, apartment complexes, etc. What accountability is there with the USPS and how do you address the opportunity for fraud en masse for the thousands of ballots that are lost or undeliverable? Are these the dead voter ballots?

Once the ballots are received by the Elections Department, control is through signature verification. No signature verification, no control. In Elbert County, the signatures are verified by a two-person Republican-Democrat team of judges. What accountability is there in states where there isn’t this same process? We provided 18 Republican judges for the 18 positions needed by the county. In Denver, only 250 of the needed 1,200 Republican election judge positions were filled. Bad on us for not filling the positions, but one common theme in the alleged ballot processing fraud is ONE PARTISAN JUDGE PROCESSING BALLOTS BY THEMSELVES. That’s kind of like a basketball game without a referee. Time out, stop! An Elbert County election judge is not allowed to carry a marking pen. This helps eliminate even the perception of tampering a ballot. Here we have seen videos of election judges working alone and marking ballots. Totally wrong.

Poll watchers provide a valuable level of accountability. The Elbert County Democrats choose to have a poll watcher at the Samuel Elbert Building for a majority of the ballot processing time. The poll watchers were respected, given full access and provided another set of eyes to ensure accountability in the results. The Democratic poll watchers did not point out one discrepancy. This further reinforces confidence in the election results. It is completely inappropriate for election officials to prevent the access of poll watchers, to put up barriers, or to continue tabulating ballots after the watchers were told that they were done for the night. What were they hiding? If this happened in Elbert County to the Democratic poll watchers, it would be front-page news.

On Election Day, the judges started at 8 a.m. and worked well into the evening. They were exhausted. To think that in Wisconsin and Michigan, there were boxes of ballots showing up in the middle of the night when no one was around, and “data dumps” of 100,000+ processed ballots that flipped the election is like watching a football game and you are up by two touchdowns when the lights go off. When the lights come back on you are now down by a touchdown. That’s not how it works.

Anyone who has ever been an election judge, a poll watcher, or an election official for a county can quickly point out the opportunity for fraud when there are these gross violations of accountability and every American should be concerned with the allegations being made. Based on the sheer volume of signed affidavits, wouldn’t it be prudent to investigate each one and get to the bottom of them and make corrections if necessary? Moving forward, how can anyone have confidence in the election results unless they are truly free and fair?

Tom Peterson is chairman of the Elbert County Republicans.


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