Georgia’s secretary of state found no fraud during an audit of absentee ballot signatures in Cobb County, the office announced Tuesday night.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger ordered the audit earlier this month after it was alleged the Cobb elections department hadn’t followed proper procedure while processing absentee ballot requests before the June 9 primary. Department director Janine Eveler said the accusation was without merit and ordered due to political pressure.

Raffensperger, a Republican, described the results of the audit as a victory against those who’ve suggested the election was rigged against President Donald Trump, who lost the state by just under 12,000 votes.

“The secretary of state’s office has always been focused on calling balls and strikes in elections and, in this case, three strikes against the voter fraud claims and they’re out,” Raffensperger said in a prepared statement. “We conducted a statewide hand recount that reaffirmed the initial tally, and a machine recount at the request of the Trump campaign that also reaffirmed the original tally. This audit disproves the only credible allegations the Trump campaign had against the strength of Georgia’s signature match processes.”

The audit was conducted by officers with the secretary of state and Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and found the Cobb elections department had a “99.99% accuracy rate in performing correct signature verification procedures.”

More than 150,000 county residents cast an absentee ballot in the Nov. 3 general election. Officers audited roughly 15,000 of those, analyzing whether Cobb elections officials had properly matched signatures of absentee ballot envelopes with signatures the state has on file.

“The audit found that only two ballots should have been identified by Cobb County Elections officials for cure notification that weren’t,” read a news release from Raffensperger’s office.

Those ballots included one voter who signed the wrong part of the absentee oath envelope and another voter who signed the envelope for her spouse, GBI director Vic Reynolds said.

Neither instance was fraudulent.

“During the course of the audit, there were no fraudulent absentee ballots identified,” Reynolds said at a news conference Wednesday.

Absentee ballots in Georgia are verified once when a voter requests a ballot, then again on signature-bearing envelopes sent to county election boards. Those envelopes are separated from the absentee ballots to protect voters’ ballot selections and preserve voter privacy, according to state law.

State officials next plan to conduct a statewide study with the University of Georgia of signatures accompanying the roughly 1.3 million absentee ballots cast in the Nov. 3 election.

Raffensperger ordered the audit in part to boost confidence in the integrity of Georgia’s election system amid fraud claims from Trump and his allies that have injected doubt into the system ahead of the high-stakes U.S. Senate runoffs on Jan. 5.

Investigators in Raffensperger’s office are also working on about 130 complaints of alleged fraud in last month’s election, though state officials have repeatedly said they have found no evidence of any widespread fraud following two recounts and several tossed-out federal lawsuits.

The audit’s results did not satisfy Trump, who lashed out at Raffensperger on Wednesday on Twitter and called top-ranked Republicans in Georgia like Gov. Brian Kemp “a complete disaster” for not ordering a deeper mail-in signature audit.

Raffensperger has called on state lawmakers to change Georgia’s election laws during the upcoming 2021 legislative session by adding stricter voter ID requirements, eliminating mail-in voting without cause and giving state officials power to remove poor-performing county election managers.

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Capitol Beat News Service contributed to this report.

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(16) comments

richard plent

Just what everyone expected. The lies about fraud were just that. Yet today we will find some Trumpster who wants to continue at this point an obvious coup attempt.

Allie Bradford

Cobb County was the least likely to have voter fraud. Cobb is well run. They should have audited Fulton, Dekalb, Clatyon or Gwinnett.

Annette Verhoff

Yeah, give 'em the ole' Whatabout. That'll bury the truth of the matter!

Whatabout Whatabout Whatabout Whatabout Whatabout Whatabout!!!!

Whatabout Trump's is just a big fat liar, working to build a TeleNationalist elderly scampire, like Televangelists, but with a twist: It's all about Nationalism instead of Jesus! Send him Mr Trump check each and every month for keeping America safe.

If you miss a payment, the Communists will win! So do NOT miss a payment! As a matter of fact, you can set your Social Security to deposit %15 straight to Donald Trump and Only Gonald Trump Can Save the USA and Our Children and Grandchildren from Communism!

--Christopher Davis, Marietta GA.

Allie Bradford

Is that supposed to be coherent? It's not.

Annette Verhoff

It is a response to the "Whatabouts" about the other counties. The GBI's facts that disprove the made up allegations of voter fraud are now, of course, ignored due to the "Whatabouts" which are the 158 other counties in Georgia. The GBI now has only 158 more county elections audits to go until "Well Whatabout how 3 counties were combined to make Fulton County? If Milton were still it's own county, blah blah blah blah blah." My response makes far more sense than claims that Georgia's GOP is able to steal Georgia's election, did exactly that, but then awarded their stolen goods to the competition! I think a whole of people forgot their 5th grade fables. Remember the fable about the frog and the scorpion? It goes like this: There once was a frog that gave that scorpion a ride across the river. This frog did this despite having read the fable about the scorpion and the frog (back when the frog was still a prince and could read) and despite having seen that scorpion in particular having stung to death every single frog that gave it a ride across the river over the last four years (close enough to shore to hop back to shore and not drown). Well, this frog very much liked the idea of scorpions getting rides across the river, so he gave THAT scorpion a ride across the river, believing that because he was SO on board with scorpions riding frogs across rivers that the scorpion would not sting him to death too. Guess what happened? Well, predictably, that dang ole' scorpion stung that frog to death. That frog's last thought was, "this can't be happening to ME. it's a hoax!" That leaves one question: The choice of frog as mascot for Trump supporters... Ironic or unfortunate? --- Christopher Davis Marietta GA

Joyce Thomas

This was one time true for Cobb county. No longer so. There are some predominate Democrat areas that are now just as corrupt and bad as Fulton county.

Joyce Thomas

Regardless of what the SOS reports -- Cobb County needs a do-over election. There are too many people that suspect a lot of the “winners” that you’ve featured on the MDJ front page recently did not win fair and square and were down ballot “beneficiaries” of a presidential election that is still being debated due to a lot or irregularities – sadly Cobb county is included in this mess. We must have integrity in our elections.

Howard Peterson

If Raffensberger admitted to fraud in Cobb or ANY county, he would be telling everyone that he is a LOUSY Sec. of State. I knew what he would find long time ago, NOTHING, even if it was right before his eyes (which it WAS!) especially in Democrat controlled Fulton County.

richard plent

I don’t care if you believe trump is the almighty, when you go to a rally or demonstrate your steal the vote nonsense, can you please wear a mask.

Joyce Thomas

America is suppose to be the land of the free which is why we have the liberty to wear or not wear a mask. No one is telling you to not wear a mask. You mask wearers need to mind you own business.

Annette Verhoff

Mr Raffensperger needs to be stronger with his language. Considering that the people complaining of alleged fraud have nothing but their sad feels to support their feels of proof of fraud, Mr Raffensperger should be saying an impartial elections audit in Cobb County carried out by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations was carried out, and "the audit proved there was no fraud." Because Mr Raffensperger has actual proof against fraud, while those crying fraud, well let's be honest, they are, after the fashion cult leader, crying and stomping their feet. Anybody feels otherwise, please do explain how the Georgia GOP stole the election, and given they could do that, why did they give their stolen goods to the competition? I don't get it. How did they do it, and even less fathomably, WHY bite the hand they all bent over backwards, or forwards as the case may be, to be fed by? --Christopher Davis Marietta GA.

Howard Peterson

Who in the world is Christopher Davis Marietta GA??

Allie Bradford

If you'd bothered to watch the three-hour hearing in the Georgia Senate yesterday, you'd know there was concrete evidence of fraud and malfeasance presented, and they just scratched the surface. Your posts totally ignore the facts.

George Don Spruill

If the “See No Evil” monkey, Brad Raffensperger, really wanted to examine fraud, he would have been looking at Fulton County and what went on after 1:00 AM at the State Farm Arena. You know, where suitcases of ballots were dragged out from under tables and counted. The entire country saw it, but our Secretary of State sees no evil. Wonder if he was too busy to watch the Senate hearings yesterday? Pretty revealing, even for a man who sees no evil.

George Don Spruill

Howard, I think Christopher Davis doesn’t have a MDJ subscription and Annette Verhoff can’t write. So, like the good little Leftists they are, they use each other. If the Dems get away with stealing this election, which is likely since GA state GOP politicians are lazy and — maybe corrupt— and federal judges don’t have the cajones to do their jobs, we’re going to see more free-loading over the next four years.

George Don Spruill

With all the deranged comments, I miss hearing from Luc Noiset. Hey, Professor, you’re not grading papers on New Years Eve, are you? Come on, buddy. We need a laugh to take us into the new year!

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