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GA election officials to judge: We must wipe voting machines clean or ‘there could be grave and serious consequences’

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On Thursday, Georgia election officials urged a judge to lift an order that is blocking them from altering information on voting machines in three counties, arguing the machines are needed to prepare for the upcoming Senate runoff elections. They warned ‘there could be grave and serious consequences’ if they are not allowed to do so.

Carey Miller, a state attorney, wrote in a court filing that evidence shows Cobb and Gwinnett counties “need to use” ballot marking devices from Dominion Voting Systems.

The filing included a declaration from Kristi Royston, the elections supervisor for Gwinnett County’s Board of Voter Registrations and Elections.

She is the one that issued the warning that the restraining order preventing her county and others from wiping or resetting the voter machines would “have grave and serious consequences.”

“It is preventing the Gwinnett County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections from beginning its required preparation for the [mail-in ballot] voting for the January 5 runoff elections for two United States Senate seats,” she claimed.

Testing for the ballot-marking devices and other voting equipment was scheduled to start on Dec. 3. That testing is now stalled because of the restraining order. If the order isn’t changed or struck down, it “will inevitably lead to widespread disruption” to mail-in and Election Day voting, according to Royston.

On Nov. 29 a judge ordered three Georgia counties to halt wiping or resetting voting machines because of voter fraud complaints. Plaintiffs want outside experts to examine the machines to see if they have been tampered with.

Janine Eveler is the director of the Cobb County Elections Department. She stated that the agency is already executing its plan for the upcoming runoffs. Preparation of voting machines, including clearing memory cards, started before order, she stated.

According to Eveler, the judge’s order is delaying testing of the machines that will be used for in-person voting on Election Day. The first step in the testing process is to clear memory cards of data from the Nov. 3 election and create cards with new data, which takes at least two-and-a-half days. The runoff election does not take place for another month.

In order for testing to start on ballot marking devices on Dec. 8, county officials need to start clearing almost 400 cards by Dec. 4, Eveler claims.

A federal appeals court agreed to expedite the appeal in the case.

Plaintiffs entered three new documents, including an expert report from Matthew Braynard, who said he believes Georgia’s database for the presidential election shows 138,029 voters whom the state marks as having requested and been sent an absentee ballot and did not return it.

Braynard also said that at least 20,312 absentee or early voters were not residents of Georgia when they voted.

Two declarations were entered. One from Eric Quinnell, an engineer, and Stanly Young, a statistician, said they analyzed results from the Nov. 3 election in Fulton County and found “unexplainable statistical anomalies.”

The second is from Benjamin Overholt, who reviews election results for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and said the percentage of ballots rejected in Georgia was significantly lower than in previous elections.

Meanwhile, a federal appellate court rejected Sidney Powell and Lin Wood’s appeal in the voter fraud case that they filed in the state of Georgia. This means that the case will go back down to U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten, Sr.’s court. The trial judge who previously issued the temporary restraining order and said that voting machines should remain untouched in Cobb, Gwinnett, and Cherokee Counties.

“[Defendants are] ENJOINED and RESTRAINED from altering, destroying, or erasing, or allowing the alteration, destruction, or erasure of, any software or data on any Dominion voting machine in Cobb, Gwinnett, and Cherokee Counties,” the judge said.

Governor Kemp and Secretary of State Raffensperger have asked Judge Batten to “dissolve the November 29, 2020 Temporary Restraining Order entered by the Court” or else the “ability of local county officials to efficiently and securely conduct the upcoming January 5, 2021 Run-Off Elections will be significantly inhibited.”

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