Georgia’s Secretary of State just announced a full hand recount of all ballots in the presidential race, and when every vote is counted in accordance with the law, President Trump will win the state of Georgia.
Based on firsthand accounts from Republican officials and volunteers around this state, however, there seems to be a concerted effort to prevent that from happening.
In the end, the rule of law must prevail and the people of Georgia must get the result they voted for. Our faith in the system, however, cannot compel us to overlook the unquestionably illegal activities we have observed throughout this process. Nor can it absolve us of our duty to do whatever it takes to put a stop to any and all efforts to undermine the legitimacy of our election.
The most essential check on the fairness of the vote-counting process is the presence of bipartisan observers. This is part and parcel of the American system of democracy. Each party’s observers keep the other side honest and prevent both the occurrence and the appearance of unfairness.
Yet, in this historically close election, we have seen the most callous and illegal rejection of this principle in the history of modern American elections.
For example, in the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, the central counting facility for Fulton County, 10 Republican volunteers were told to go home around midnight on election night, shortly after “a pipe burst,” causing a pause in the count. They were told that no more votes would be counted. That was a lie. By approximately 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, workers were tabulating Fulton County absentee ballots again — without those essential observers present.
That is a clear violation of Georgia election law, but it was by no means unique across the state. In Henry, Newton, Rockdale, Clayton, Douglas, and DeKalb Counties, there have been numerous reports of Republican election observers being refused entry to counting facilities.
Worse still, we know that these exclusions are not mere formalities. Beyond the eye of observers, clear and illegal practices are taking place. In Richmond County, we have received word that they delayed their canvas far beyond the Wednesday deadline set by state law. In Chatham County, Republicans observed ballots they believed were received after the 7 p.m. deadline being mixed in with others and made unidentifiable. If those ballots really did arrive late, there’s no way to rectify that now.
These activities and others are the subjects of lawsuits by the Georgia Republican Party, the Trump Campaign, and outside groups. In the case of the Chatham County irregularity, the initial emergency petition was dismissed by a county judge — but if the evidence compels it, we will continue to fight on that ground. As to the wider issue of the exclusion of observers and canvassing irregularities, lawsuits are live and ongoing.
None of these efforts are aimed at “stopping the count” or excluding legal votes, as Democrats disingenuously claim. They are aimed at enforcing the law and preserving the means by which our democracy delivers a fair and true result. From the moment the polls closed, we have been very confident that Georgia had once again voted for Donald Trump for president. Nothing we have seen since then has changed that belief, but we have seen plenty of evidence indicating an effort to deviate from the law and from norms of conduct in order to alter the result.
This fight has only just begun. Our efforts to secure the integrity of the election process may even result in a recount or other efforts to redress illegal conduct. The Trump Campaign and the Republican Party will not surrender in the face of pressure from the media and from our opponents. Voters and the law must determine the winner of this state, and we won’t rest until they have had their say.