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Georgia GOP chairman: Why did absentee ballot rejection rate drastically drop in 2020 when a million more of them were cast than in 2018?
Security envelopes for absentee ballots sit in stacked boxes as Fulton county workers continue to count absentee ballots at State Farm Arena on Nov. 6, 2020, in Atlanta. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Georgia GOP chairman: Why did absentee ballot rejection rate drastically drop in 2020 when a million more of them were cast than in 2018?

'Did the massive increase in ballots overwhelm the verification process?' the chairman asked

As the state of Georgia braces for a hand recount of votes from the disputed 2020 presidential election, Georgia's Republican chairman has a question:

"In 2018, when 230,000 absentee ballots were cast, 3.5% were rejected for signature mismatches or other reasons," David Shafer noted Thursday night on Twitter. "In 2020, when more than 1.2 million absentee ballots were cast, the rejection rate fell to 0.3%. Did the massive increase in ballots overwhelm the verification process?"

What do the numbers mean?

Shafer's numbers indicate the rejection rate dropped a whopping 3.2% this year compared to 2018. You remember 2018, don't you? When there was no coronavirus making it too dangerous to vote in person, as many Democratic officials claimed this year — although mass protests and riots were just fine.

Given Shafer's numbers, let's say the absentee ballot rejection rate in Georgia remained at 3.5% this year. That would mean about 42,000 of the 1.2 million cast in 2020 would have been rejected. But with a 2020 rejection rate of just 0.3%, the number of rejected absentee ballots instead was around 3,600, using Shafer's numbers.

According to NBC News, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden led President Donald Trump in Georgia on Friday afternoon by a vote count of 2,472,152 to 2,458,002 — a difference of just 14,150 votes.

Seems an expectation of about 42,000 rejected ballots this year would make quite the difference in Georgia's presidential vote outcome — even half that number theoretically would move Trump past Biden at present.

Now what?

Shafer and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Georgia) on Tuesday raised several concerns with Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, also a Republican, about the recount. Trump chose Collins to lead his Georgia recount team.

In the pair's letter, a number of requests were made based on concerns about training and directives for the hand count — and one notes that the recount process doesn't include a review of signatures on absentee ballot applications and ballot envelopes to confirm their validity.

"This raises serous concerns as to whether the counties properly conducted signature verification and/or other scrutiny of absentee ballots," the letter says. "In fact it presents the issue of whether some counties conducted any scrutiny at all."

The letter asks Raffensperger to make sure that signature verification happens in the recount: "We do not believe it is possible to certify the results of the 2020 General Election without conducting this investigation and analysis."

In addition:

  • They also have concerns that there can be only one review for every 10 audit teams, which they said makes it impossible to monitor the recount in real time.
  • The letter also said it's improper to certify the election results by 5 p.m. Friday when the audit and recount won't be completed by that time.
  • Also they requested that the start of the recount, which was to commence Friday, be delayed until Monday so that interested parties can have sufficient notice of the audit locations.
  • Finally they said parameters for ballot security were not explained with any detail.

Raffensperger's office on Friday didn't immediately reply to TheBlaze's request for comment regarding if he will consider any of the requests in the letter from Shafer and Collins.

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