The Trump campaign and high-profile Republicans are demanding that signature matching be a significant part of the president’s recount in Georgia, where elected president Joe Biden beat him by less than half a percentage point – but the state agency says the ship is sailing.
Due to rules to protect voters ’privacy, Georgian ballots are separated from their outer envelopes after their original verification – where the signature is located. This makes it impossible to put ballot papers back in their envelopes and therefore makes it impossible to reconcile signatures after the vote has been counted.
“Today, the Trump campaign has filed a petition for a recount in Georgia,” the president’s legal team said in a statement on Saturday. “President Trump and his campaign will continue to insist on an honest recount in Georgia, which should include signature reconciliation and other vital safeguards. Without signature compliance, this recount would be bogus and would once again allow the counting of illegal votes.”
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He continued: “If there is no signature match, it would be as false as the number of initial votes and recount. Let’s stop the false results for people. There must be a period when we stop counting illegal ballots. Hopefully it will come soon.”
Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, both Georgian Republicans, backed the president’s signature-matching demands on Sunday, and in a joint statement earlier this week called for the resignation of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Senator Lindsey Graham, RS.C. supported several signature reconciliations on Monday.
But although a second recount of the results in Georgia follows, the signature matching is not included. The rules of urgency adopted before the presidential election, in order to preserve the secrecy of each vote, expressly provide in Georgian law and the Georgian Constitution that ballot papers must be separated from their envelopes so that they cannot be re-linked. .
Specifically, the urgency rule, extended earlier Monday, extended to the January 5 election elections, stipulates that all missing votes will be subject to signature verification, but once the signature is verified, the vote must be separated by an envelope with the signature.
“Missing ballot papers shall be processed in no more than 100 items. At least three persons who are registrars, deputy registrars, opinion polls or absentee administrators shall be present at all times during the processing of absentee ballots.” States. “All the outer envelopes of the lot shall be counted and recorded on a reconciliation form before the outer envelope of the lot is opened. After opening the outer envelopes of the lot, the contents shall be removed to secure the contents of the package. “
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The signature verification that occurs when ballots are received follows a previous signature verification when voters request a missing ballot. In both cases, they are checked against signatures signed by the state, such as driving licenses or previous voter registrations.
Georgia is not a universal postal state, meaning voters must actively ask for the votes of those absent before sending them this system, which Trump himself supported earlier this year.
“The missing ballot papers are fine because you have to go through a precise process to gain voting privileges,” the president said. beep.
“Reality is Georgia’s confirmed signing match,” a spokesman for Raffensperger’s office said in a statement. “The missing ballot papers were trained twice by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for election officials before the vote was cast.”
The spokesman added: “For the first time in Georgia’s history, we have a photo ID linked to most of the missing ballots. Our new online portal has forced voters to confirm their driver’s license before they can vote.”
Darrell West, vice president and director of governance studies at the Brookings Institute, told Fox News on Monday that the Georgia practice of separating ballot papers from the outer envelope is common and important nationwide for maintaining secret ballots.
“You have to do a signature check before opening a secret ballot. Otherwise, it violates people’s right to privacy,” West said. “This is the usual procedure in the states … Every state has the same goal of keeping the ballot a secret, so you always have to separate the signature from the ballot.”
West added: “Most places have had secret ballots for more than 100 years. When adopted in the early 20th century, they were designed to filter out corruption and ensure that people could cast their votes the way they wanted, as opposed to what someone else wanted them to do.”
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The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for an opinion that it will be impossible to verify the signature during the recount. It is unclear what the next step in the Trump campaign would be if a second recount fails to swap the counting of votes toward the president, especially since it does not include more signature reconciliations as the president demands.
In particular, any challenges will almost certainly have to be resolved by 14 December, the date when the Electoral College will have to meet and vote. Thereafter, the ballot papers for the election shall be handed over to the various officials by December 23, and the votes shall be counted by Congress on January 6.
Even if the president’s campaign manages to rule out enough votes to close the Georgian gap and win over the state, and at this point there is no indication that the same would be needed in several other states, 306-232. Joe Biden won the Election College victory.