Smoking Gun in Georgia: Fact-checking the fact-checkers

Smoking Gun in Georgia: Fact-checking the fact-checkers

Summary

Republicans have made a big deal over a security video in a highly contested county in Georgia. The video shows the “Count Supervisor” closing the count on the evening of November 3, inviting those present to leave the premises before surreptitiously resuming the encoding of the votes in a small committee. For the past 48 hours, fact-checkers have seized on the subject, claiming that these images do not show anything abnormal.

This fact-checking of fraud in broad daylight in Georgia does not even pass the test of non-contradiction; fact-checkers contradict each other, and sometimes they contradict themselves.

What happened in Georgia — and these facts are not seriously disputable — is that the Supervisor of the counting office fired the Republican poll watchers, the press, and all the people present, under the pretext that the counting was over, in fraud of the law, before resuming the counting surreptitiously for two hours on five machines (with a potential of 3,000 votes per hour). This single proven case of fraud according to the law is enough to cancel the election in Georgia.

Development

What is the situation?

Here are the facts:

1. Under oath, two witnesses claim that the Supervisor of their counting center at the State Farm Arena, Fulton County, Georgia, asked them to leave the counting center just after 10:00 p.m., telling them that the counting of the votes (absentee and military) was over and that work would resume the next morning at 8:30 a.m. (note that these affidavits are punishable by five years in prison in the case of perjury).

2. Having invited those present to leave the premises, the “Supervisor” and one of her colleagues immediately began to tidy up the room — one of them went so far as to ostentatiously dust the tables. The message was clear and consistent with the sworn testimonies: “We are closing!”

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The “dusting” phase (poll watchers and the press in the yellow circle)

3. The two Republican observers, therefore, left the premises, as did the press.

4. At 11:02 p.m., everyone left the premises except the Supervisor and three of her colleagues (hereafter “the Four”), who were still present and were pulling boxes of ballots from under a table to start counting them.

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Oh, geez! Ballots! Now that everybody’s gone, let’s count them!

5. This surreptitious counting, which lasted nearly two hours, was carried out almost to its end without the slightest “observation” of the dismissed Republicans or any third party.

6. The two sworn witnesses had not returned home at all; they had simply gone to the central part of the State Farm Arena to witness the centralization of the results.

7. The security video shows the two sworn witnesses who, upon learning of the surreptitious resumption of counting after they had been evicted, returned to the scene at 1:45 a.m. (two and a half hours after leaving), just after the Four had left.

8. Fact-checkers claim that at 10:00 p.m., the work of opening envelopes (“cutting”) had been completed and that only the “scanning” (encoding) remained; thus, there was nothing to “watch” anymore.

However, the distinction seems irrelevant:

a) This opening/encoding distinction is foreign to Georgian law: § 21–2–408 of the Code of Georgia, which concerns “poll watchers” (observers), explains that the political parties and entities involved have the right to observe the counting operations without distinction between opening envelopes and encoding, which is crucial.

b) The Four can clearly be seen waiting for the room to empty before resuming the count.

c) Why “clean up” before immediately going back to work?

d) Why announce the office’s closing and invite the “poll watchers” to leave the premises when their mission is by no means over, according to Georgian electoral law?

9. Fact-checkers claim that, in reality, the Supervisor did not invite those present to leave the premises and that they left “spontaneously.” This point seems easily verifiable as there were other people present (especially journalists). How can it be explained that all those present decided to leave simultaneously — journalists and “poll watchers” — other than they were told that the work was finished?

Other fact-checkers contradict the first, stating that “we don’t know” whether those present were asked to leave. Long live fact-checking!

10. Interestingly, some fact-checkers acknowledge that it was indeed decided to interrupt the count while arguing that this was not “announced” to those present, who would therefore have all left the premises simultaneously by coincidence. This seems as credible as an entire theater audience exiting in a hurry, without any connection to the fact that someone had just shouted “fire!”[1]

11. “The Secretary of State’s Office was aware that Fulton County scanning had continued during the period captured in the video presented at the Senate hearing,” a spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s Office said. “This office dispatched an investigator and notified the independent monitor appointed by the State Election Board who both observed scanning until it was halted for the night around midnight.” Wrong: The board monitor said he left the scene at 8:15 p.m. and did not return until it was over, at 11: 52 p.m. Source: statement of the board monitor himself to the fact-checkers.

Conclusion

Two witnesses, under oath and punishable by five years imprisonment for perjury, state that they were asked to leave the premises on the pretext of the counting’s end, and the images are entirely consistent with their statements. These affidavits are, in American law, evidence in the strictest sense of the term.

This significant case of fraud is enough to cancel the election in Georgia as a massive counting continued for two hours after it was declared to have ended.

Drieu Godefridi, PhD

December 6, 2020

[1] The same fact-checker, who should fact-check his facts, maintains in the same article that a board monitor observed the counting, then specifies that the monitor returned at 11:52 pm, that is to say when this surreptitious counting was almost finished.

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