After wrapping up a hand recount of votes in the presidential race, the Cobb Board of Elections and Registrations on Friday responded to social media postings about shredding activities near its recount location at Jim Miller Park.
- UPDATED Tuesday, Nov. 24: Cobb government says the social media posting of another video alleging the shredding of ballots was in fact part of routine shredding activities for materials from the Cobb Tax Commissioner’s Office. A county spokesman said no documents from the Cobb Elections Office were shredded.
In a release issued through Cobb County Government spokesman Ross Cavitt, Cobb Elections said the items that were being shredded were mailing labels, completed and “checked off” reports, sticky notes and other papers and documents.
Voters were mailed two envelopes as part of their absentee ballot package. One was a “white privacy envelope” that contained the actual absentee ballot. The privacy envelope was then placed in a larger mailing envelope that contained the voter’s signature.
The privacy envelopes were among the items that were also shredded—after the election was certified—but not the mailing envelopes with the signatures.
None of the shredded materials were ballots, according to the statement, which quotes Cobb Elections director Janine Eveler:
“None of these items are relevant to the election or the re-tally. Everything of consequence, including the ballots, absentee ballot applications with signatures, and anything else used in the count or re-tally remains on file. After an out-of-context video was shared on social media we contacted state officials to reassure them this was a routine clean-up operation and they could inspect our stored materials if they wish.”
Lin Wood, an Atlanta attorney who’s filed a lawsuit for the Trump campaign contesting the Georgia presidential results, posted several times Friday on his Twitter account with videos shot at the park by others.
In a post published at 3:27 p.m., he wrote:
Looks to me like they may be destroying election documents in Cobb County, GA.
— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) November 20, 2020
The Cobb Elections release was issued about 10 minutes later, but Wood did not respond to that denial. His Tweets after that were focused on Kyle Rittenhouse, a Wisconsin teenager accused of killing two protesters in Kenosha and who was released on $2 million bail.
After absentee and other final ballots had been initially counted, Democratic former vice president Joe Biden had a lead of 14,116 votes over Trump.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger ordered a hand recount—something that hadn’t been done in the state before—and after that was complete, the results indicated that Biden’s lead was 12,670 votes.
On Friday, the Georgia board of elections certified all the election results, including the presidential race, and Gov. Brian Kemp signed off on the certification.
There were several thousand uncounted ballots found during the recounts in four counties (Cobb was not among them), including more than 2,000 in Floyd County, where the elections supervisor was fired.
“The vast majority of local elections officials did their job well,” Kemp said, citing circumstances related to COVID-19 that led to unprecedented absentee balloting.
He urged legislators to make changes, including a voter ID requirement for absentee ballots.
The Trump campaign has until the end of Tuesday to request a computerized recount, which would serve as the official vote tally.
Georgia’s 16 electoral votes are slated to go to Biden, the first Democrat to win the state in the presidential race since Bill Clinton in 1992.
The official tally now stands at Biden with 2,474,507 votes (49.51 percent) to 2,461,837 for Trump (49.25 percent).
Libertarian Jo Jorgensen received 62,138 votes, or 1.24 percent.
Raffensperger has been under fire since Georgia’s presidential vote-counting swung from Trump, who held a 370,000-vote lead on election night, to the slender Biden lead following the absentee counting.
Georgia’s U.S. Senators, Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, demanded his resignation, as the Trump campaign alleged voter fraud in Georgia and several other states that were close—and that all eventually went to Biden.
On Friday, Raffensperger said that even though he’s a Republican and Trump supporter, “the numbers don’t lie” and he has the duty to certify the results.
“The numbers reflect the verdict of the people, not a decision by the secretary of state’s office or of courts or of either campaign,” he said.
In Cobb, Biden got 56 percent of the vote.
Cobb Elections officials will be working at Jim Miller Park through the Jan. 5 runoff for both U.S. Senate seats from Georgia as a well as a runoff for the Georgia Public Service Commission.
- Cobb election results certified; Biden projected Ga. winner
- Georgia to conduct hand recount of presidential voting
- Ousted Cobb Commission Chairman pledges ‘transition in grace’
- Loeffler, Perdue demand resignation of Ga. Secretary of State
- Cobb commissioner-elect: ‘We can overcome every challenge’
- East Cobb legislative incumbents, McBath win re-election
- Banks wins 4th term as Cobb school board stays in GOP hands
- Ga.: Biden-Trump recount, Perdue-Ossoff runoff loom
- Richardson extends lead in Cobb Commission race
- Democrats sweep countywide races
- East Cobb Votes 2020: Results, reaction and more
- East Cobb Elections Guide
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