“Voter confidence in our election system is the bedrock of our republic. Unfortunately, inconsistencies in Fulton County’s November 2020 absentee ballots cast serious doubt on voters’ faith in our elections,” former Sen. Kelly Loeffler said in a statement.
Georgia residents have been particularly concerned about Fulton County.
Files provided by county officials show there are no chain of custody documents — absentee ballot transfer forms — for 385 out of the 1,591 dropbox collections that took place in Fulton County between September 24, 2020, and November 3, 2020, the Georgia Star News reports.
Meanwhile, Arizona’s Maricopa County is undergoing a complete forensic audit of the November 2020 election after the state’s Senate Republicans expressed their desire to ensure the legitimacy of the votes.
The audit in Arizona, however, has been met with relentless resistance. In early May, officials held back materials subpoenaed by the state legislature, claiming that submitting them would create a security risk for both law enforcement and federal agencies.
The Arizona state Senate claimed Maricopa County election officials then tampered with election records just days before the equipment was delivered to the Arizona Senate, the Georgia Star News reports.
Last week, the president of the Arizona State Senate asked the chairman of the Maricopa Board of Supervisors to address “three serious issues that have arisen in the course of the Senate’s ongoing audit of the returns of the November 3, 2020 general election in Maricopa County.”
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors later refused the invitation to meet with the Arizona State Senate to discuss how to resolve the issues.
Unlike the audit in Arizona, however, the Fulton County ballots in Georgia will not be transferred to an independent third party for examination, as Superior Court Judge Brian Amero has ruled that the ballots must remain with Fulton County officials, according to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The case is Favorito v. Coons, No. 2020CV343938 in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia.
After months of consideration, a judge in Fulton County, Georgia, has ruled that absentee ballots from the 2020 presidential election will be unsealed and examined for evidence of fraud.
Henry Superior Court Judge Brian Amero said in a hearing Friday that Fulton election officials will be required to keep ballots in their custody. More than 145,000 ballots will be analyzed. The decision comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed by voting integrity advocate Garland Favorito, who determined county workers may have recorded individual votes multiple times, and eight others. His lawsuit directly points to footage of the counting process and statements from individuals who observed the counting. There have been dozens of election-related lawsuits in Georgia.
“Georgia voters deserve to have confidence that their voice — and their vote — is heard,” said former Republican Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who lost her seat to Democrat Raphael Warnock in a January runoff election. “Unfortunately, the many irregularities we saw in the 2020 elections have eroded trust in our electoral process. We fully support the move to unseal and investigate absentee ballot process in Fulton County. Transparency is the first step toward restoring integrity and accountability in our elections, and we look forward to the investigations’ findings.”
In March, Amero stressed the need for a thorough plan to ensure the security of the ballots. “We want to do this in such a way that dispels rumors and disinformation and sheds light,” the judge said at a hearing. “The devil’s in the details.”
The plaintiffs initially desired to take the ballots to a private company for contractual work, but Amero declined the move. At the direction of the judge, absentee ballots will be scanned and county officials will be asked to provide images of the voting information. The plaintiffs are paying for the audits.
In the 2020 election, Fulton County swung heavily to President Joe Biden, who took a little over 72 percent of votes: 380,212 compared to former President Donald Trump’s 137,237 votes. Georgia ended up being a major battleground state, with Biden being declared the victor by about 11,700 votes.
According to an OnMessage Inc. poll, former Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) leads the Republican Senate primary in a hypothetical match-up.
The survey found the former representative would start at the front of the Republican field. When the survey asked, “if the election were held today and the candidates were Doug Collins and Kelly Loeffler, for whom would you vote?” 55 percent said Collins was their top choice, giving him a double-digit lead over Loeffler, with 36 percent of the vote.
The survey also asked about votes when the field was expanded by two more hypothetical candidates, including Herschel Walker, the former running back for the NFL and the University of Georgia, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, current representative of Georgia’s 14th Congressional District.
Collins was still in the lead with 35 percent of support from Republicans in Georgia. Walker received 27 percent of support among survey respondents, Loeffler received 22 percent, and Greene received only seven percent. Eleven percent were undecided.
When asked about favorability, the former representative had a net favorability of 59. Former President Donald Trump received a net favorability of 83.
The OnMessage Inc. poll surveyed 600 likely Republican voters between March 14-15 over the phone. It carried a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.
Loeffler was defeated by Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) in the January Georgia runoff for the Senate.
In early March, Trump urged Walker to run for U.S. Senate in Georgia:
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the legendary Herschel Walker ran for the United States Senate in Georgia? He would be unstoppable, just like he was when he played for the Georgia Bulldogs, and in the NFL. He is also a GREAT person. Run Herschel, run!
“OnMessage is not working for any of the candidates. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who chairs the National Senatorial Campaign Committee, is one of the firm’s top clients,” the Hillreported.
Former Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) is seriously considering running again for the U.S. Senate in Georgia in 2022, a source with knowledge of his plans told Breitbart News exclusively.
Collins would, if he runs, face off against Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), who was just sworn in after winning one of the two runoffs in Georgia on Jan. 5. Warnock, and his fellow Democrat Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA), were sworn in on Wednesday by Vice President Kamala Harris. Their wins handed control of the U.S. Senate to the Democrats for the first time since they lost it in 2014, during former President Barack Obama’s administration, albeit with a tight 50-50 split that becomes a majority because of Harris breaking the tie.
Warnock defeated former Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) in the high-octane runoff, which, combined with Ossoff’s win against former Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), was one of the most expensive races in American history. But in the lead-up to the Nov. 3 general election that sparked the runoffs, Collins ran in a jungle primary against both Loeffler and Warnock. While Collins did not finish in a strong enough position to go to the Jan. 5 runoff, he ran what his team considers an impressive campaign given the intense opposition he faced from inside the GOP, due to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell formally lined up against him by the mere fact he was facing off against a sitting senator in Loeffler, even though Loeffler was appointed to the position by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
Collins was a fan favorite among supporters of now former President Donald Trump and the grassroots, raising $6 million on his own. Despite being outspent in aggregate, $54 million to $6 million, Collins still came in a strong third place with 20 percent of the vote to Loeffler’s 25.9 percent and Warnock’s 32.9 percent back on Nov. 3.
But now that Warnock has won the special election to fill out the remainder of the term of retired former Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Collins is looking at challenging Warnock in 2022 in the midterm elections—an election for a seat that again could determine majority control in the U.S. Senate.
“Doug is giving serious consideration to running against Warnock in 2022,” a source familiar with Collins’ thinking told Breitbart News. “He has name ID, a statewide grassroots organization and 22,000 donors that just invested in him last year. He can unite MAGA world and traditional Republicans and can win in November. He knows this decision has to come pretty quickly, so I would expect a public announcement to be made about his future no later than the end of February.”
Collins, many Republicans in Georgia believe, could energize Trump supporters who stayed home in the Jan. 5 runoff. At a rally in the lead-up to that runoff, Trump himself even floated the possibility of Collins challenging Kemp in a 2022 primary—the former president has a score to settle with the Georgia governor over the post-election battles over election integrity—but Collins is leaning much more towards another run for the Senate, sources familiar told Breitbart News. Nonetheless, they expect Trump would be supportive, and that Trump’s supporters in the state would quickly rally around him, as would traditional Republicans.
In an appearance on Breitbart News radio on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel back in September, for instance, while discussing Trump’s then-looming eventual selection of Amy Coney Barrett to be a Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, Collins made a plea to the base to get out and fight for the conservative vision for the country.
“We’ve got to take conservatism seriously because the liberals take liberalism seriously,” Collins said. “Many times as conservatives we think we can just sit by and everybody will just come to our conclusions. We’ve got to take that fight to the American people, and the American people will side with us. I truly believe that.”
LISTEN TO DOUG COLLINS ON BREITBART NEWS RADIO ON SIRIUSXM:
One thing Republicans want to avoid is another brutal primary that could end up benefitting Warnock and the Democrats, so that is a consideration by Collins as he mulls another bid for the Senate. But Collins, sources familiar with his thinking say, is fairly confident that Republicans in the state party will rally behind him, just as much as he is confident in his grassroots and Trump base support. That’s because after the brutal three-way race with Warnock and Loeffler in the lead-up to Nov. 3, as soon as the runoff came around, instead of sitting on the sidelines, Collins went all in behind Loeffler and Perdue to help them in the runoffs. Collins, the source said, did everything the Republicans asked him to do to help the cause.
If Collins does end up running, the source with knowledge of his plans said, expect him to announce early—by mid-to-late February of this year—to begin raising money and to clear the field of any potential primary challengers so he can focus nearly exclusively on Warnock.
Republicans hope to retake the U.S. Senate in November 2022, and they need to win only one net pickup to do so. Republicans will need to defend several battleground states, though, with Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) up for re-election and incumbent GOP senators retiring in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who will be 89-years-old in November 2022, has not said yet whether he will run for re-election.
But the GOP does have some places they could flip seats in addition to this Georgia race. In Arizona, newly-elected Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) will face off against a GOP candidate for a full term after he won the special election in November. Democrats could also face losses in other states where Republicans have in recent years won Senate seats, like Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire, Illinois, or perhaps a surprise in a more deeply blue state. But the map is tough for the GOP, and a Georgia win would be almost essential for the Republicans to retake the U.S. Senate in November 2022, so whatever Collins decides to do will be critical to the future of the party nationally.
ATLANTA — Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock defeated Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) in one of two U.S. Senate runoff races in Georgia on Tuesday that were to determine which party takes control of Congress’s upper chamber.
Warnock finished one point ahead of Loeffler, 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent, or by about 40,000 votes, with 97 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Associated Press, which called the race at about 2 a.m. early Wednesday morning.
Warnock, the longtime senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, gave a victory speech through a video message after midnight, saying, “I promise you this tonight: I am going to the Senate to work for all of Georgia no matter who you cast your vote for in this election.”
Because his race was a special election, he will be up for reelection in 2022.
Loeffler, who had been appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp (R) to the Senate in 2019, appeared after midnight before a crowd of campaign staff members, press, and other guests at the Georgia GOP’s election night party here at the Grand Hyatt hotel and did not concede, saying her team still sees a “path to victory.”
Sen. Kelly Loeffler speaks during a runoff election night party at Grand Hyatt hotel in Buckhead on January 6, 2021, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
Warnock’s win gives Democrats 49 seats to Republicans’ 50, meaning the Senate majority now hinges on the outcome of the race between Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and Democrat candidate Jon Ossoff, which is too close to call as of the time of this writing.
Warnock’s win also makes him the first Georgia Democrat elected to the Senate in more than 20 years, further cementing the state as a contentious battleground rather than safely red.
Polling throughout the runoff showed Warnock with a slight edge over Loeffler, though the race outcome still appeared to be a toss-up with most polls being close enough to fall within the standard margins of error.
The runoff also shattered fundraising records with Warnock raising a whopping $124 million to Loeffler’s $92 million, not including outside funding.
Loeffler branded Warnock as “radical liberal Raphael Warnock” throughout her campaign, and the Republicans collectively delivered a message to voters that they must “save America” and “fight socialism” in reference to retaining Senate control.
The attacks on Warnock stemmed from discoveries of his past speeches and writings, which, among a variety of concerns for Republicans, espoused Marxism and were often racially charged.
Republicans also emphasized two run-ins Warnock had with police. One instance, per a police report, involved Warnock’s ex-wife accusing him of running over her foot with a car following a domestic dispute. The other involved Warnock’s arrest in 2002 for interfering with police as they were questioning counselors at a camp that was suspected of child abuse.
Warnock sought to paint himself as a benign figure in response to Loeffler’s criticism, at one point advertising his affection for puppies. Additionally, Warnock denied harming his then-wife, and he was never charged in the incident. As for his 2002 arrest, Warnock said his interference was due to concern that the counselors did not have legal representation.
Warnock throughout his campaign also repeatedly attacked Loeffler with the false claim that she made stock trades earlier this year because of privy knowledge about coronavirus. The Senate Ethics Committee, however, dismissed that accusation because of a lack of evidence, and Loeffler has always denied any wrongdoing.
The race follows a November 3 “jungle primary” in which incumbent Loeffler handily beat Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) while Warnock emerged as the frontrunning Democrat, but no candidate received 50 percent, sending the race to a runoff.
The vast majority of Republican voters in Georgia say the 2020 presidential election between President Trump and Democrat Joe Biden was not conducted fairly, an exit poll for the state’s Senate runoff election reveals.
An exit poll by CNN and Edison Research for the National Election Pool in Georgia’s Senate runoff election — where Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) are facing challenges from Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff — found that about 75 percent of Republican voters who voted in the runoff election said the November 3, 2020 presidential election was not conducted fairly in the state of Georgia.
“Among Georgia Republicans who voted in the runoff elections, about three-quarters say that the presidential election in Georgia was not conducted fairly, while more than 9 in 10 Democrats say the election, which President-elect Joe Biden won by less than 12,000 votes, was fair,” CNN reports.
Still, about 50 percent of Republican voters in the runoff election said they believe their votes will be tallied accurately on Tuesda, while about 70 percent of swing voters said the same.
In November, as CNN notes, 92 percent of Republicans in Georgia said they believed their votes would be tallied accurately in the presidential election — indicating a big drop in confidence in the electoral process among GOP voters.
According to Georgia’s Secretary of State, Biden won the state by just 0.2 percent against Trump. Biden was declared the winner of Georgia by the Associated Press days after election day.
The CNN exit poll interviewed 5,260 voters in Georgia. The margin of error is +/- two percentage points.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.
Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) on Monday the day before the runoff race for her U.S. Senate seat, announced that she would object during Congress’ Wednesday certification of all the states’ Electoral College votes, joining about a dozen other current and incoming Republican senators who have stated they will take part in the effort to overturn President-elect Joe Biden‘s 2020 win.
Her Republican colleague, Sen. David Perdue, is also facing a runoff election for his seat on Tuesday. Both races will determine which political party controls the Senate for likely the next few years. If Democrats squeak out victories in both runoffs, they will control 50 of the upper chamber’s 100 seats and have Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote. Tuesday’s election results will have major bearing over how much of Biden and the Democrats’ agenda during the 117th Congress can be realized.
“Elections are the bedrock of our democracy and the American people deserve to be 100% confident in our election systems and its outcomes,” she said in a statement to Fox News on Monday night. “But right now, tens of millions of Americans have real concerns about the way in which the November Presidential election was conducted—and I share their concerns.”
“The American people deserve a platform in Congress, permitted under the Constitution, to have election issues presented so that they can be addressed,” Loeffler continued. “That’s why, on January 6th, I will vote to give President Trump and the American people the fair hearing they deserve and support the objection to the Electoral College certification process.”
Back on December 14, all 50 states and the District of Columbia cast their official Electoral College votes, solidifying Biden’s 2020 victory.
According to a Sunday explainer piece from The Wall Street Journal, it takes one House representative and one senator to file an objection to a state’s electoral votes. For each objection to a given state’s electoral votes, lawmakers from each chamber break for two hours at most to debate the objection. When debate concludes, a straightforward majority vote is held on the objection, and both the House and Senate must agree in order for the objection to succeed.
The effort led by GOP Sens. Josh Hawley (Mo.) and Ted Cruz (TX) to object to certain swing states’ Electoral College votes is widely expected to fail, with experts viewing it as a longshot. They are also joined by a sizable contingent of House Republicans in their effort.
One of those House GOP members, Rep. Jody Hice (Ga.), on Tuesday joined Loeffler in announcing he’d object on Wednesday.
“This isn’t partisan politics. We’re fighting for election integrity,” he argued. “We have a clear constitutional duty to defend the sacred trust of the electoral process.”
More current Republican senators who have said they’d object during certification are Sens. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), James Lankford (Okla.), Steve Daines (Mont.), John Kennedy (La.), and Mike Braun (Ind.). Senators-elect who have pledged to object, too, include Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Bill Haggerty (Tenn.), Tommy Tuberville (Ala.).
President Donald Trump, who still refuses to concede to Biden, has been openly urging congressional Republicans to object on Wednesday. He has even placed pressure on Vice President Mike Pence, who that day oversees the counting of the official electoral votes cast by the states, to help overturn Biden’s victory.
“I hope that Mike Pence comes through for us,” the president said at a Monday night rally in Georgia to cheers. “He’s a great guy. Of course if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much.”
An ad released in the final hours of the campaign on Monday squarely focused on trying to split Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) from President Donald Trump. “Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, squaring off with President Trump,” a narrator says at the opening of the ad. “Expected to appoint Kelly Loeffler to the open U.S. Senate seat.”
The ad focused on trying to split Trump from Loeffler, by highlighting how Kemp—Georgia’s governor who Trump says he intends to back a primary challenger against in two years—appointed her to the seat vacated by the now retired former Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA). But the most interesting part of the ad may be how it opens: “I’m Raphael Warnock and I approved this message.”
That’s right: the Rev. Raphael Warnock, the Democrat nominee for one of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats—both of which are up for grabs in Tuesday’s runoffs—is running advertisements trying to depress the turnout of his opponent’s base. The voter suppression effort seems to be an indication of where everyone knows this race will be decided: by President Trump’s supporters. Do they follow his guidance and show up to back Loeffler and Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) on Tuesday? Or do they do as the Democrats want them to and stay home? It’s anybody’s guess, but a lot rides on whether traditional GOP base voters turn out on election day in Georgia or if they sit this one out.
One person who seems particularly worried about the outcome, at least privately, is President-elect Joe Biden. According to a report Tuesday morning from Politico, the Democrat presidential candidate who became the first since Bill Clinton in the early 1990s to flip Georgia—Biden finished barely ahead of Trump on Nov. 3, and Trump contends he still won the state and that fraud led to Biden’s victory—believes that both Warnock and Jon Ossoff will lose their races on Tuesday.
The leak, which came just hours after Biden himself campaigned for them in the Peach State ahead of Trump’s rally for Loeffler and Perdue late Monday night, was brutal. Biden’s team, Politico wrote, is “privately skeptical about Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock’s chances.” Losses by the two Democrats, too, will drastically change what Biden is able to accomplish in his administration once he takes office on Jan. 20.
“And though confidants say that the incoming team’s core priorities for that 100-day agenda will remain the same regardless of the outcome — the pandemic, the recession, climate change and racial inequality — they concede that the scale of their plans could change dramatically come Tuesday evening,” Politico’s Tyler Pager and Megan Cassella wrote on Tuesday.
Republicans concede that the only way they lose these races is if the president’s base does not show up. The Washington Post’s Jacqueline Alemany quotes anonymous GOP officials on Tuesday in her “Power Up” newsletter to express that concern. The anonymous Republicans claim that Trump’s nonstop voter fraud allegations in Georgia have hurt Loeffler’s and Perdue’s chances by causing Trump base voters to question the legitimacy of elections and consider not voting. “Trump’s been generally unhelpful throughout this whole process,” the anonymous GOP senate aide said, warning that “Republicans should be prepared for a bad night.”
The concern is that base voters may or may not turn up. But while Trump has expressed his disdain over the Nov. 3 election, he has been equally clear to Georgians in two different rallies and a number of other public statements that he needs and wants them to show up and vote for Loeffler and Perdue.
So that leaves open the question, if Trump is telling his supporters to vote, who is telling his supporters not to vote? Well, in addition to the actual Democrat candidates—as evidenced by the new Warnock ad—it’s Democrats, as Breitbart News has previously reported earlier in the campaign, and it’s also Never Trumpers at the Lincoln Project who are basically Democrats at this stage.
The Lincoln Project is running a new ad in Georgia, according to the New York Times, that quotes attorney Lin Wood questioning why Georgians would vote in this election when they believe the last one was rigged:
Wood has presented himself a pro-Trump attorney, and while he has donated to Trump and Republicans this election cycle, his political donation history as previously revealed by Breitbart News paints a very different picture: He is a longtime Democrat donor having backed Democrats for office at the federal and state level in Georgia in particular for years and years. He also previously opposed Perdue, backing his Democrat opponent with financial contributions.
And while it’s unclear who paid for it, signs like this appeared outside the Trump rally in Dalton on Monday night:
There is no cell service or working WiFi at the Trump rally here in Dalton, but I’m going to see if this will work from the perimeter…
But a Democrat Super PAC has been very publicly behind a billboard campaign in Georgia with essentially the same message, as Breitbart News reported earlier in the campaign.
In other words, this all means it’s the Democrats who are trying to suppress the vote in Georgia—at least part of the vote, the part from the pro-Trump areas—as part of their last-ditch effort to win control of the U.S. Senate in races their president-elect does not even think they have a shot at, which the Politico article sums up nicely.
“Privately, Biden’s team does not expect to win the races, according to Democratic officials, but they are more optimistic about their chances than they were weeks ago,” Pager and Cassella wrote. “Though the president-elect narrowly won the state in November, they attribute that to a powerful anti-Trump sentiment that did not translate down the ballot. Perdue received about 88,000 more votes than Ossoff, and the top two Republicans combined got more than 636,000 votes than Warnock in the special election. One former Democratic official said few Democrats, if any, are preparing for victory. It’s not ‘their organizing principle,’ the official said of the incoming transition team, adding that their planning has focused on Democrats not having control of the Senate.”
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