President Donald Trump’s campaign issued a letter to Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Monday demanding he initiate an audit of signatures on all absentee ballots submitted to the state for the 2020 elections.
The letter marks the fifth time the Trump campaign has requested that Georgia audit absentee ballot signatures since the Nov. 3 elections, despite Raffensperger’s office saying that voter privacy rules make it impossible to re-verify the signatures on ballots after they’re separated from their envelopes, according to Fox News.
Trump campaign lawyer Ray S. Smith said in a statement Monday it’s not possible for Georgia to accurately certify the election results “until and unless there is a thorough audit of the signatures.”
“You cannot in good faith conclude the ongoing statutory recount until you have instituted a signature matching audit,” Smith said.
Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp certified the state’s election results on Nov. 20 following a statewide recount that cemented President-elect Joe Biden’s lead in the state by 12,670 votes.
The Trump campaign noted in the letter that Georgia rejected around three percent of mail-in ballots in the 2016 and 2018 general election, but only rejected 0.34% of mail-in ballots during the 2020 general election. Going on those figures alone, the campaign said if the historical rejection rate was applied to this year’s election, up to 45,626 ballots would have been tossed out, which is over three times the margin of Biden’s victory in the state.
Signatures on absentee ballots submitted in Georgia are verified when they’re first counted. A spokesman for Raffensperger’s office told Fox News last Tuesday that the state strengthened its signature-matching procedures in advance of the 2020 elections.
“Absentee ballots are matched by Georgia Bureau of Investigation trained elections officials twice before a ballot is cast,” the spokesman said. “For the first time in the history of Georgia, we now have a photo ID associated with the bulk of our absentee ballot applications. Our new online portal forced a voter to confirm their driver’s license before they can request a ballot.”
There is no way for Georgia to re-verified absentee ballots during a recount as the envelope and ballot are separated to ensure voter privacy, according to The New York Times.
The Trump campaign requested a second recount in Georgia after Kemp certified the results, which is expected to run through Wednesday.
Trump railed against Kemp on Monday for refusing to use his emergency powers to conduct a signature audit.
Why won’t Governor @BrianKempGA, the hapless Governor of Georgia, use his emergency powers, which can be easily done, to overrule his obstinate Secretary of State, and do a match of signatures on envelopes. It will be a “goldmine” of fraud, and we will easily WIN the state….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2020
Raffensperger said during a press conference Monday that voters should have “confidence that the outcomes are correct” when the second recount is concluded. The Republican secretary of state railed against “dishonest actors” who responsible for the “massive amounts of disinformation being spread” by Trump’s advisors.