Press Releases on the June 9, 2020 Georgia Primary



Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
August 28, 2020

State Election Board Refers Fulton Absentee Mishandling Case to Georgia Attorney General

Bipartisan Board Unanimously Finds Probable Cause that Fulton County Elections violated Election Law and Disenfranchised Voters

(ATLANTA)-After reviewing a series of voter complaints against Fulton County for failing to process and send absentee ballot requests for the June 9 primary, the State Election Board (SEB) today voted unanimously to send the case to the Georgia Attorney General’s Office. Fulton County’s failure to process and mail requested Absentee Ballots resulted in multiple violations of Georgia law [O.C.G.A. 21-2-384(2)], the board determined.

Chief Investigator Frances Watson said the Georgia Secretary of State’s office received 254 complaints from voters who did not receive an absentee ballot. At least 107 of those people did not vote at all in the June 9 election. At least 105 were never entered into the eNet voter registration system — meaning the county never entered the voters’ information for ballot fulfillment. Testimony also revealed there were many more Georgians who didn’t receive a requested absentee ballot, “evidenced in the large numbers that went to the poll and reported not receiving a ballot.”

In making the motion to send the case to the attorney general, Democrat appointee David Worley said “while the COVID phenomenon … was not limited to Fulton … the large extent of problems with the processing of absentee ballot applications were clearly evident in Fulton County, and now that the case is before us, I don’t think we can ignore that. And if one person being denied their right to vote is too many, 250 is certainly too many.” 

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the chair of the SEB, said Fulton County must fix these issues before the general election, when record-breaking turnout is expected.

“This is about identifying and addressing the issues we saw in June, so that we don’t see them repeated in Fulton this November,” said Raffensperger. “All of us, on the state level and those doing the hard work at the county level, had to manage through the COVID-19 crisis in June. We will all have to manage through it in November as well. But the volume of Fulton’s issues was unique. As we heard in testimony today, up to 80% of the complaints we received in Georgia were concerning Fulton County.”

Raffensperger added that he hopes Fulton County and the State Election Board will be able to build a positive and productive relationship moving forward, and reach a resolution that will prevent the issues that arose in June from reoccurring in November.

Georgia is recognized as a national leader in elections. It was the first state in the country to implement the trifecta of automatic voter registration, at least 16 days of early voting (which has been called the “gold standard”), and no excuse absentee voting. Georgia continues to set records for voter turnout and election participation, seeing the largest increase in average turnout of any other state in the 2018 midterm election and record primary turnout in 2020, with over 1.1 million absentee by mail voters and over 1.2 million in-person voters utilizing Georgia’s new, secure, paper ballot voting system.


Secretary of State  Brad Raffensperger

June 17, 2020

[Remarks as Prepared]

Thank you for coming out today. As you can see, we are standing outside the Park Tavern, which was the site of one of the mega precincts, 16,000 registered voters, which saw hours long lines on Tuesday.

We are gathered here today to say it will not happen in November. Our goal is to assure that each and every voter has the opportunity to cast the vote for the candidate of their choice in the manner they prefer. That’s each and every voter…regardless of zip code, race, education, financial situation…or any other factor.

The voters here at Park Tavern Tuesday had a terrible experience shared by many in Fulton County, and it was inexcusable.

Fulton has a long history of this. Every two years we all see the issues, some new and some repeated. The legislature is in session. I am asking them to give the State Election Board the ability to intervene to protect voters in counties with systemic problems. In our state, one, and only one, county fits that bill…my home county, Fulton. Fulton voters deserve to have an election that works. We are measuring these problems objectively. From our data from election day so far approximately 70% of all of the issues in the state were in Fulton County. Fulton County’s issues are now conflated with Georgia elections overall, in spite of the Georgia elections workers who have worked their fingers to the bone to bring us a successful election.

My goal since I took office was for counties and their Election Boards, who run elections here in Georgia, to run successful elections. In the vast majority of counties the elections boards and the elections directors and staffs had a successful day. In some, like here at Park Tavern and other Fulton locations, that didn’t happen.

Were there some issues across the state? Of course, and they fall into four basic categories.

Poll Worker Training
Too Many Voters in a Single Polling Place

Every county faced these issues. All fought through them. Nearly all of them, at the end of the day, had successful elections…Fulton failed on all of these fronts. A handful of other counties had issues they resolved.

Seeing what we saw, the only way we can have successful election is for my office and the counties to work hand in hand to make sure they run well in every precinct. 

In the coming days, counties will continue uploading the data from their check in equipment and next week the counties get us their election reports as part of our election certification process. This data will allow us to help Fulton and any other counties where there were issues, focus resources on the right precincts and poll workers. Identifying the problem and then fixing that problem. This is about accountability.

With that in mind, knowing we have more data coming to drill down to the specifics, I have put together a November Plan of Action that will focus on 4 main areas.

    •     Increased Technical Support – There were technicians in every county and multiple in large counties. We have learned that wasn’t enough. We will work to have a technician in every precinct. That will be a mix of techs from our vendor, the state, and the county. We will work with the counties to assure they have the people they need. In this election, nearly every “technical” issue was resolved in minutes once a tech arrived…they were nearly all easy fixes. Addressing them quickly will stop the cascading effect of problems.
    •    Enhanced Hands On Training – While COVID has not passed, most of us have a much better handle on how to deal with it. From the data we will know which precincts poll workers we and the counties need to focus our efforts and resources on. Further, we will adapt our current training directly with counties to address what they saw on the ground as the most needed areas.
    •    Decrease Lines through More Polling Places – We know that we need a more diversified pool of voting locations to spread the load of voters we are anticipating. We want to work cooperatively with counties to identify locations. Further, for those that had line issues, we have a great MIT tool to predetermine how to deploy equipment and gauge polling place volume so that issues like the Park Tavern won’t happen again.
    •    Increase Use of Pre-Election Day Voting Options – We need to see a big push for voters to Early Vote in Person or Vote Absentee. We are building out an online portal to allow for voters to request an absentee ballot. This will take work off of the counties and eliminate errors and allow voters to know their applications have been received and processed.  We are asking counties to open more early voting locations. For every voter that votes before election day is one less voter poll workers and polling places will see on election day. Historically, in the general election, we see about 50% vote ahead of election day and 50% vote on election day. We need to bump that pre-election number up. Imagine what Tuesday would have looked like had we not had the absentee ballot program.

It takes a team of thousands of hard working election officials and poll workers in every county in Georgia to make elections work. And I am grateful for the hard work of all of them.

I look back at last Tuesday. That won’t happen again. The vast majority of counties got it done right…even with the challenges. Fulton, didn’t execute the way we wanted and the voters deserved. But I know this…every person involved in running elections wants to get it right, even those in Fulton, and they work hard to do it. It’s what we all want.

We also need the legislature to pass legislation I am supporting, SB 463, to address long lines. It was introduced in January, well before what we saw on Tuesday. It will force counties to shrink the number of voters in a precinct, or deploy more equipment, if there is a line of more than an hour at a polling place. I would also ask that it be amended to allow the State Election Board, which I chair, to intervene in counties that show repeated, systemic issues when running elections. This is the best way to protect voters and their rights.

And let me add some perspective to last Tuesday. It was a record setting election. We had record absentee voting for any type of election at 1,125,000 votes cast. We had record advanced voting in any primary ever at 326,000. We had near record primary turnout with 811,000 votes and that was with no statewide race for one party. That combined to be a record turnout for any primary ever.

Now that said, this is a cautionary signal for all of us for November. This primary we saw a little more than 800,000 election day voters. We anticipate triple that on November 3. We need to be ready. And I can do a lot, the counties can do a lot…what we need is for people and communities to join us in the work. We need poll workers…sign up, volunteer. We need polling places, go to your civic clubs and community gathering places, and your churches and places of worship and ask them to open up to help your community vote. With the help of the people of Georgia, the hard work of the counties, and direction and resources from this office, we will make November a great, successful, record setting election.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
June 10, 2020

Statement from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger 

(Atlanta)-The following is a statement from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger:

“As the Secretary of State, I will continue to work with our county elections boards and directors to train them to properly deliver, install and maintain our voting system. It is clear that some counties continue to not perform. It is the responsibility of the counties to properly deliver and install equipment. It is the responsibility of the counties to properly train its poll workers.

The Secretary of State’s Office cannot administer elections, every Georgia county is charged with that responsibility. But what is clear from yesterday, is that while almost every county delivered successful elections—a couple did not.

I am working with the General Assembly to help give the State greater authority to directly intervene and require management changes as well as call for the counties themselves to pay for the remedial action. My office’s POST-certified law enforcement officers will undertake a complete and thorough investigation into what happened in Fulton County, including not just what happened yesterday but also any improperly handled absentee ballot applications.

We are here to protect every voter. Republicans, Democrats and Independents deserve well run elections. That is why we are proposing to the General Assembly legislation that will enable the state to intervene and look into failing elections offices, when it’s clear there are continued failures.”


Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
June 9, 2020

Statement from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger 

(Atlanta)-Statement from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Investigation into Fulton and Dekalb County Elections Processes:

"The voting situation today in certain precincts in Fulton and Dekalb counties is unacceptable. My office has opened an investigation to determine what these counties need to do to resolve these issues before November’s election. Obviously, the first time a new voting system is used there is going to be a learning curve, and voting in a pandemic only increased these difficulties. But every other county faced these same issues and were significantly better prepared to respond so that voters had every opportunity to vote." 


Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
June 4, 2020


(ATLANTA)- Georgia voters have cast over 1 million ballots with less than one week to go until the June 9 statewide elections. Even as COVID-19 has complicated elections in other states, the office of the Secretary of State and local elections officials have maintained numerous different avenues for Georgia voters to exercise their right to vote.

“Elections officials across the state have worked throughout the COVID-19 crisis to preserve the ways that Georgia voters prefer to cast their ballots,” said Raffensperger. “Because of the dedication of these tireless public servants, more than 1 million Georgians have been able to vote early through absentee ballot by mail or in person as they have in every other election. Though we encourage anyone who has requested an absentee ballot to return it by mail or submit it in a dropbox, we look forward to providing safe in-person voting on Election Day as well.”

Georgia voters have already cast 1,033,585 ballots. Of those, 810,024 were absentee by mail ballots, nearly 80% of the ballots cast so far. The significant surge in absentee by mail ballots demonstrates the speed and efficiency with which election workers and voters alike adapted to COVID-19.

Absentee ballots must be received by a county elections office no later than 7:00pm on Tuesday, June 9, in order to be counted.

The surge in absentee ballots by mail comes following tireless efforts to allow Georgians to vote in whatever way they feel most comfortable. Though more than 800,000 Georgians have submitted absentee ballots by mail so far, more than 20 times the 37,000 who voted that way in 2016, another 223,561 have cast their ballots in person.

The Secretary of State has worked with county election officials to provide the resources and guidance necessary to preserve those options for Georgia voters. The office of the Secretary of State purchased and distributed 35,000 masks for election workers in addition to other personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitation supplies. County elections offices are also able to apply for millions in grants to purchase PPE and sanitation supplies on the local level. Additional grants are available to support election infrastructure such as extra tables, dividers, or even tape to mark safe social distancing, lowering the cost burden on the counties.

These crucial supplies will help make it possible for in person voting to continue safely, even during the COID-19 pandemic.

As head of the State Election Board, the Secretary spearheaded a rule allowing counties to provide drop boxes for absentee ballots so voters can submit their absentee confidently and safely. The office of the Secretary has made grants available for counties to subsidize the costs.
To help anticipate the surge in absentee ballot requests, the Secretary of State’s office mailed 6.9 million absentee ballot request forms to active Georgia voters, a process that took only 6 days from ideation to execution. To further ease the burden on the counties, the Secretary secured vendors to print and mail the absentee ballots as well.


Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
May 20, 2020


(ATLANTA)-After the first day of in-person early voting in Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is encouraging Georgians to vote absentee by mail to protect their health and limit wait times at the ballot box. The demands of social distancing and other COVID-19 related health precautions has lowered the capacity polling locations around the state have for in-person voting, and has increased wait times for Georgians looking to cast their ballots in person. Additionally, many absentee ballots are still on the way to Georgia voters who requested them. When these Georgians opt to vote in person, their absentee ballot must be cancelled at the polling site, an extra step that further slows down the voting process.

“Considering the health risks posed by COVID-19, Georgians should seriously consider submitting an absentee ballot by mail for the June 9 elections,” said Raffensperger. “While we understand the Georgia tradition of in-person voting and look forward to returning to normal in-person voting in future elections, the extra precautions necessary to preserve voter and poll worker health during the pandemic will result in long wait times and an increased health risk that could be avoided through absentee ballots for this election.”

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking extra precautions to protect the health and safety of our poll workers and of Cobb County voters,” said Cobb County Elections Supervisor Janine Eveler. “These necessary steps can result in longer wait times than normal so we are encouraging voters to submit absentee ballots by mail if they can.”

“Fulton County elections officials are working to protect the health of our voters and poll workers, as we try to limit the length of wait times for in person voters,” said Fulton County Elections Supervisor Richard Barron. “Fulton County voters should consider submitting absentee ballots by mail from the safety of their own homes.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began to disrupt elections in the state, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperer has encouraged Georgia voters to submit absentee ballots by mail for the June 9 elections. Earlier this year, Raffensperger sent absentee ballot request forms to all 6.9 million active Georgia voters. Georgia’s voters were able to return those forms either by mail or by email.

Almost 1.5 million Georgians have submitted a request for absentee ballots for the upcoming election with over 1 million absentee ballots already sent out to Georgia voters. Each absentee ballot mailing has a bar code allowing the Secretary of State’s office to track it as it moves through the state’s postal system and to the voter’s mailbox. This allows the Secretary’s office to ensure that the ballots get where they are supposed to go.

Georgia voters have already returned 400,000 absentee ballots with three weeks to go until Election Day.

The large influx of absentee ballot voters will lower the burden on polling places that are working hard to keep wait times short but also to ensure social distancing and necessary health measures are observed. Considering most poll workers are in a high-risk group and therefore particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, there are fewer volunteers available to work the polls. Social distancing means fewer voting machines at each location and the need for extra sanitation increases the time between each voter and, therefore, the length of wait times. Voters who have requested absentee ballots but choose to vote in-person need to cancel their absentee location at the polling location, adding an extra step that further slows down the voting process.

To mitigate these concerns, Secretary Raffensperger has called on Georgia voters to submit an absentee ballot by mail or in drop-boxes for counties that have made it available. Counties looking to open an absentee ballot drop box can apply for a grant from the Secretary’s office to help cover the cost, in addition to applying for funds for extra sanitary supplies and election infrastructure.


Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
April 27, 2020


(ATLANTA)-Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has created an Absentee Ballot Fraud Task Force to ensure no one undermines the integrity of the vote in Georgia during this time of crisis. Secretary Raffensperger has selected experts in election administration, investigation, and prosecution from around the state of Georgia to demonstrate that he takes voter fraud concerns seriously. As Georgia goes through a time of upheaval and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary Raffensperger will fight aggressively to provide Georgians with a vote that is secure, safe, and reliable.

“The people of Georgia have the right to a secure, safe, and reliable vote,” said Raffensperger. “In times of crisis and change, scams and deceit multiply. The Absentee Ballot Fraud Task Force features some of the state’s premier law enforcement experts, who will assist our office as we investigate any allegations or instances of potential voter fraud. The integrity of the voting process is the bedrock of our democracy, and we will work tirelessly to ensure it is not violated.”

The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the people of Georgia and the country to rethink how they live their daily lives. Though around 95 percent of Georgians have voted in person in the past, the realities of COVID-19 will likely result in significantly more Georgians submitting absentee ballots by mail. Vote by absentee ballot is a great option during this time of crisis, but this significant change requires extra effort to preserve the integrity of the vote in Georgia. An increase in voting by mail brings with it the potential for increased voter fraud and ballot harvesting, both of which are against the law in Georgia.

To ensure the integrity of the absentee ballot process, Secretary Raffensperger has created the Absentee Ballot Fraud Task Force to assist the Secretary of State’s office in investigating allegations of and potential instances of absentee ballot fraud in the state of Georgia. Secretary Raffensperger has recruited a strong slate of individuals to build out this Task Force and help secure the vote in the state:
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia Bobby Christine: Bobby Christine worked for a decade in the District Attorney’s Office in Augusta before being appointed a judge on the Columbia County Magistrate Court, where he served as Chief Magistrate from 2009-2012. On November 22, 2017, he was sworn in as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia following his nomination by President Donald J. Trump.
Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit District Attorney Shannon Wallace: Shannon Wallace has served as District Attorney for the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit since January 2013. Prior to that, she served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit and in the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit, where she specialized in crimes against women and children.
Clayton Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tasha Mosley: Tasha Mosley was named Clayton Judicial Circuit District Attorney by Governor Brian Kemp in October 2019. Mosley previously served as the Solicitor General for Clayton County, a position she had held since 2009.
Cordele Judicial Circuit District Attorney Brad Rigby: Brad Rigby became the District Attorney for the Cordele Judicial Circuit in March 2016. He previously served as Assistant District Attorney, a position he held since 2000, including serving as Chief ADA since 2013.
Dougherty Judicial Circuit District Attorney Greg Edwards: Greg Edwards was elected District Attorney for the Dougherty Judicial Circuit in 2008. In 1990, Edwards was appointed Assistant District Attorney, appointed Chief Assistant District Attorney in 1995, and served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney.
Hall County Solicitor General Stephanie Woodard: Stephanie Woodard was appointed Solicitor General for Hall County in December 2008. She previously worked in the Fulton County District Attorney’s office as Senior Assistant District Attorney, in the Carroll County District Attorney's Office, in the DeKalb County Solicitor General's Office, and in private practice representing individuals and small businesses in criminal and civil proceedings.
Cobb County Solicitor General Barry Morgan: Barry Morgan was appointed Solicitor General for Cobb County in 1998 by Governor Zell Miller and has been re-elected to that position six times. Prior to that, he served as a Cobb County Assistant District Attorney prosecuting narcotics and organized crime cases and as Chief Assistant Solicitor General.
Mountain Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Rosanna M. Szabo: Rosanna M. Szabo is an Assistant District Attorney in the Mountain Judicial Circuit. Rosanna has more than thirty years of prosecution experience including 12 years as Gwinnett County Solicitor General from 2007 to 2018. She has represented the State of Georgia in more than 300 criminal jury trials and more than 100 published appeals.
Jackson County Elections Supervisor Jennifer Logan: Jennifer Logan has served as the Elections and Voter Registration Director in Jackson County since April 2018, part of a five-year career working in elections in Georgia.
Glynn County Elections Supervisor Chris Channell: Chris Channell has served as the Glynn County Elections Supervisor since being appointed by the Glynn County Board of Elections in May 2019. He had been serving in as interim elections supervisor since December 2018. Channell worked extensively in local government and in elected positions in Kansas before coming to Georgia.
The task force will be led by Frances Watson, Chief Investigator in the Secretary of State’s office and assisted by Chris Harvey, Elections Director in the Secretary of State’s office. Secretary Raffensperger looks forward to working with this fantastic team and others to uphold the integrity of the vote in Georgia. He thanks the Task Force members for their dedication to a safe and secure vote in Georgia.

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Georgia Democratic Party

June 12, 2020

Motion To Assist Voters, Ensure Every Vote Is Counted

Today, the Democratic Party of Georgia filed an emergency motion seeking an injunction to extend the time for voters to cure rejected absentee and provisional ballots, after the state’s failed implementation of a new voting system left many voters in the dark on the status of their ballots.
As voters are still being counted from Tuesday’s election, the state has failed to provide sufficient notice to voters who used absentee and provisional ballots of whether their ballot is rejected. This means that voters are not given sufficient notice to correct or “cure” their ballots by today’s deadline — and their votes are not counted.

These failures are particularly egregious as many Georgians voted by mail for the June 9th primary due to the coronavirus pandemic. Over 943,000 voters returned an absentee ballot this year, compared to nearly 285,000 in the 2018 election. Furthermore, many voters who applied for but never received an absentee ballot were forced to vote provisionally, along with the myriad other issues faced by voters across the state.

“We are in a global pandemic that makes the ability to vote by mail more important than ever — voters deserve to know that their vote is counted, and have the chance to correct any errors,” said DPG Chairwoman Nikema Williams. “Amid the many issues we saw across the state on Tuesday, Georgia’s failure to communicate with voters means Georgians still don’t know whether their vote was counted in this primary. Our democracy depends on the basic premise that every person’s vote counts. This must be fixed immediately.”

Read the motion here


Georgia Democratic Party
June 10, 2020

Georgia Democrats On Statewide Issues, Voter Suppression On Primary Election Day

ATLANTA – Over the course of Georgia’s June 9th Primary, voters across the state faced a “complete meltdown”, including record-length lines, chaotic voting machine issues, and election problems across the state. Tuesday’s failure came after months of warnings that the Secretary of State’s insistence on rapidly transitioning to a brand new elections system risked these exact problems.

Democratic Party of Georgia Chairwoman Nikema Williams released the following statement:

“Yesterday, our team heard from Georgians in every corner of the state who showed up to vote but faced countless obstacles, from equipment failures to closed precincts to eight hour long lines, to voters left unsure whether or not their vote will count. From Columbus to Chatham to Rome to Atlanta, our system, led by the Secretary of State, failed our voters. The Secretary of State’s job as chief elections official is to help all Georgians vote freely, but instead he has displayed a deliberate indifference to Georgians’ constitutional rights.

We should be applauding people for wanting to be a part of our democracy, but Georgia keeps making it harder for people to vote. I am incredibly proud and grateful that so many Georgia voters came out to the polls and stayed late to make their voices heard, but let’s be clear: voting in a functional democracy should not require herculean efforts that risk health and safety.  We owe it to Georgians to do much, much better.

It’s time for real solutions. We need a clean elections bill to shorten lines and make voting more accessible, we need functional vote by mail and early voting options for all voters who need them, and we need to do the work to make sure every Georgian has fair and equitable access to the ballot. In other words, we need the Secretary of State to own up to his mistakes and do his job – our democracy depends on it.”

The Democratic Party of Georgia has the largest voter protection program for a state party in the country. During this primary election period, thousands of voters in counties across the state have contacted the DPG with their concerns over casting their vote.

Georgia NAACP
June 9, 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Crystal Greer

Georgia NAACP Calls for Immediate Action after Failure of June 9 Election

ATLANTA — Voters from all over the state of Georgia experienced massive failures in both election preparation and administration. Voters from both rural and metropolitan communities have reported widespread frustration as long lines, last minute precinct changes and closures, non-delivery, backlogs of absentee ballots and lack of adequate training for election officials have corrupted what often is a symbolic experience in the American tradition of democracy.

“What we are witnessing is a complete travesty and full accountability into this election's misadministration from the Secretary of State and other state officials is of the upmost priority. The time to prepare was months-ago-late and shows that action is urgent, now. We demand steps be taken to ensure that this does not happen again in November,” says James Woodall, State President, Georgia NAACP.

The blood of so many freedom fighters, like Congressman John Lewis, have fought and dedicated their lives for the right to vote. To have our elections managed in this way and every bit of election progress be eroded by severe incompetence is repugnant.

“The history of voter suppression in this state calls for an immediate demand for relief as every Georgian has an obligation to their right to vote, whether they choose to vote-by-mail, early in-person, or on Election Day. Today, we saw that right infringed upon."

As we prepare to advocate post this General Primary election, the Georgia NAACP will continue to oppose Senate Bill 463, which shifts responsibility for the kinds of severe problems witnessed today, from the Secretary of State’s office to local County Boards of Elections. We will promote proactive solutions to resolve the challenges of implementation, training, and statewide election uniformity. Anything less is insufficient.


Georgia Democratic Party
June 5, 2020

Georgia Democrats Call for Immediate Action To Rectify Long Lines, Voter Suppression Across Georgia In Advance of Election Day

Voters Across Georgia Faced 6 Hour Lines On Last Day Of Early Vote

ATLANTA – Tonight, after widespread reports of long lines at polling sites on the last day of early voting, Democratic Party of Georgia Chairwoman Nikema Williams released the following statement:

“We are outraged that voters across Georgia, many of whom have done their part to attempt to vote safely by mail, have been forced to stand in line as long as six hours on the last day of early voting, in the middle of a pandemic that endangers public health. The Secretary of State and counties have had months to prepare for this election but they have squandered valuable time that could have been used to prevent the democratic crisis we are seeing today.

Over the past weeks, we have heard from hundreds of voters who applied for vote by mail ballots, who followed every instruction given by the Secretary of State and counties to make sure their voice is heard, but never received the ballots they were promised. Georgia voters have done their part, and are now forced to choose between their right to vote and their health, unjustly punished by state leadership that would rather shrug their shoulders at a crisis than take immediate action to fix the problem.

As history has shown, Georgia Democrats will not be deterred from the ballot box no matter what obstacles stand in our way. There is no excuse for the compounded failures of democratic institutions that we are seeing for voters across the state. We demand that adequate resources and trainings are provided to counties by Election Day this Tuesday, and we will keep fighting until every voter can make their voice heard for every election – period.

To the Georgia voters who have waited patiently to cast their ballot: we see you, we hear you, we are fighting for you. You have the right to stay in line, and we are here to help.”

The Democratic Party of Georgia encourages all Georgia voters with questions and concerns about their vote to call the Voter Protection Hotline at 888-730-5816.


June 10, 2020

Chairman Shafer Issues Republican Primary Election Statement

ATLANTA, GA – Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer today released the following statement:

“We qualified a record number of Republican candidates this year – nearly twice as many as the Democrats – and I am grateful for each one of them.

Running for office is hard on the candidates and harder still on the families of the candidates. For those whose campaigns ended today, you have my appreciation and respect.

I extend my warmest congratulations to President Donald J. Trump, Senator David Perdue and all of the Republican candidates who are celebrating victories tonight or who have advanced to a runoff.

The strong turnout today bodes well for the Republican Party this fall. I look forward to campaigning up and down the ballot for this tremendous group of candidates.”
For questions, contact Stewart Bragg

Georgia Republican Party
June 9, 2020

Georgia GOP Condemns Fulton County’s Democrat Leadership For Incompetent Management Of Today’s Primary Vote

ATLANTA, GA – The Georgia Republican Party issued the following statement in response to the Democrat-controlled Fulton County government’s complete ineptitude in conducting today’s primary vote:

“Just hours into Election Day, it has already become painfully apparent that Fulton County’s Democrat leadership is woefully unprepared to conduct today’s primary vote,” said Georgia GOP Executive Director Stewart Bragg. “The chair of the Fulton County Registration and Elections Board is a Democrat donor and a Democrat primary voter whose failed management has led to long lines, voting machine malfunctions, and scores of other avoidable problems. This unacceptable incompetence will effectively disenfranchise countless eligible voters across Georgia’s largest county. Georgia voters deserve better from their public servants. Frustrated voters in Fulton County should contact their Democratic local elected official and demand change.”

For questions, contact Stewart Bragg

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
July 30, 2020


(ATLANTA)–In an effort to further the false liberal narratives about Georgia’s elections record, a recent New York Times article (“Anatomy of An Election ‘Meltdown’ in Georgia,” July 25) contained numerous errors.

“We can’t comment on whether the multitude of falsehoods in the story resulted from intent or incompetence, but we will correct the record,” said Walter Jones, Voter Education manager and former journalist. “This story is yet more in a long string of national media stories that swallow liberal lines of attack about Georgia’s voting procedures that have no basis in reality. Georgia, like many other states, faced a great challenge in carrying out a high-turnout election amidst a pandemic. There were precincts that had problems. But the fact remains, that the vast majority of counties performed admirably in tough circumstances. The issues that were raised in this story are highly localized. Most problems arose in Fulton County – a jurisdiction that has experienced troubled elections for decades. Contrary to the Times’s assertion that Georgia has statewide systemic failures, the record shows Georgia has a system that worked just fine in 158 counties. Georgia elections are run by counties, not the Secretary of State’s Office. This is a truth that, no matter how often it is repeated and no matter how clear Georgia law, the national media refuse to acknowledge or understand.”

The following are misrepresentations or falsehoods in the Times story:

Times story: The Park Tavern polling place in Atlanta had only one scanner.

The Park Tavern polling place had three scanners. This information was given to the Times, which instead chose only to report that one voter only observed one scanner. The bottleneck at Park Tavern resulted from the county assigning 16,000 voters that precinct. That’s a decision at the local level in a liberal-run county.

Times story: “Georgia’s top elections official, the secretary of state, remained largely passive.”

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger took unprecedented steps to ensure Georgians safe access to voting during the pandemic.
  • Election date moved back to give counties more time to prepare for changes required by the pandemic.
  • All 6.9 million active registered voter received an absentee ballot application for the first time in Georgia history.
  • Each application contained a bar code to help counties process the requests quickly.
  • Voters received mail with instructions on voting by mail and voters that had received an absentee ballot were sent mail encouraging them to send it in.
  • The Secretary of State’s Office procured and paid for a specialized absentee ballot mail vendor to package, prepare, and mail absentee ballots to aid counties as the state saw a 2500% increase in absentee ballots compared to previous primary elections. This proactive strategy freed up county resources that would have otherwise had to have been devoted to this effort, allowing counties to better prepare for in-person early voting and Election Day voting. This action allowed the state to mail out over 1.5 million absentee ballots within a few days of the accepted applications being entered by the county elections officials.
  • Each county had at least one central scanner and larger counties received additional ones to count the massive increase in absentee ballots.
  • Secretary Raffensperger spearheaded two emergency State Election Board rules to assist with voting in a pandemic: allowing counties to set up secure drop boxes to allow contactless return of absentee ballots and allowing counties to begin scanning (but not tabulating) absentee ballots a week before Election Day.
Times story: “Mr. Raffensperger’s office insisted it was following the guidance of the federal Election Assistance Commission, which certified it’s voting machines…. But the commission says no such guidelines existed.”

The Secretary of State’s Office never said it was following EAC “guidance.” It correctly said that the settings Georgia used for its scanners were the same settings that the EAC used when they certified the machines as accurately recording votes. These are the factory settings for the Dominion machines, and the same scanners used by the vast majority of Dominion customers.
Times story: “The newly elected secretary, Karen Handel, implemented an ‘exact match’ system that could disqualify voters for minute differences between their registration forms and other government documents. That rule was overturned by the Justice Department, which found it ‘seriously flawed’ and falling ‘disproportionately on minority voters.’ But Republicans reinstated such requirements after the Supreme Court stripped the Justice Department of its mandate to approve changes in voting rights.”

  • What liberals misleadingly call “exact match” is actually a federally required process mandated by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).
  • Liberal Secretary of State Cathy Cox agreed to implement HAVA match in June 2006, before Handel took office. 
  • Georgia’s exact match was precleared by the Obama Justice Department BEFORE the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v Holder decision.
  • The only change that the state made to the process after Shelby County was to first lengthen the amount of time an applicant had to clear up a non-match (from 30 days to 26 months, including specifically allowing voters to clear up issues at the polls when they go vote) and then getting rid of any time restriction to clear up the issue at all.
  • Since then, Georgia has further expanded access to voting by creating online voter registration, automatic voter registration through the Department of Driver’s Services and allowing counties to expand weekend early voting hours, including Sundays.
Times story: “Last August, Judge Totenberg ordered the state to scrap its voting machines and undertake the daunting task of starting over for 2020.”

Before August 2019, a law requiring a new paper ballot system had already been passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governor. The Secretary of State’s Office had already conducted a competitive procurement to purchase a new voting system, and the state had already signed a contract with the winning bidder for the new voting system. Judge Totenberg ordered Georgia, in effect, to do what it was already doing.

”This story’s wild disregard for the truth echoes Georgia liberals’ talking points, not the truth,” said Walter Jones. “This is propaganda, not journalism. We know that national media outlets will continue to further this divisive narrative and use it as a mechanism to increase liberal voter turnout. We will not let these misrepresentations distract us from our mission to prepare Georgia for the highest turnout in our state’s history in the approaching General Election.”

“The Secretary of State’s Office will do everything within its powers to assist counties, through recruiting and training poll workers, making sure they have enough equipment and providing oversight to fix the issues that have plagued Fulton County. As we move forward, we will communicate constantly with Georgians to build faith and trust in our election system.”