... since the election, a watchdog group has been quietly gathering data about Georgia’s 2018 election. They have filed court cases, taken affidavits and analyzed the statistics in an attempt to verify the veracity of Georgia’s election results.
Then something weird happened.
The nonprofit group, Coalition for Good Governance, discovered that approximately 127,000 Georgia voters simply did not have a recorded vote for lieutenant governor. Officials claimed that most of these voters simply left that part of their ballot blank. And for some reason, the “drop-off” (the difference between people who voted and people who skipped one race) was disproportionately Democrat.
They had never seen it before. The drop-off rate in Georgia was higher than almost any statewide office drop-off rate they had ever seen. So they gathered the best minds in the election data field from across country to try to figure out the mystery of Georgia’s disappearing votes. It seemed so random. Researchers researched, voting machine experts looked at the machines’ known vulnerabilities and professors ran analytics and statistical regressions. But no one could figure out the pattern.
And then, just for kicks, they decided to run a statistical analysis by race. And viola, they discovered that an incredibly disproportionate number of Georgia voters in majority black precincts didn’t record a vote for the second-highest office in the state. They found the anomaly was incredibly high in precincts where there were high percentages of black registered voters.
And here is the troubling part: According to the report from Coalition for Good Governance (CGG) and the experts who spoke with The Root, the undervote wasn’t concentrated in Democratic areas. It seemed to specifically happen in black neighborhoods. Even stranger, the black voters’ absentee mail ballots didn’t reflect the drop-off, only the people who voted on election day and people who voted on machines in early voting.
“The state commissioner of insurance got more votes than the lieutenant governor,” Marilyn Marks said. “That just doesn’t happen anywhere.”
“I have not seen an undervote pattern that looks like this,” added Brill, who pointed out that the state of Georgia seems to oppose any investigation into the matter. “They just don’t seem to want to investigate it. They don’t even seem curious about why this happens.”
“I wouldn’t trust a Georgia voting machine as far as I can throw it” —Marilyn Marks, Coalition for Good Governance
In some cases, eyewitnesses report that when they attempted to vote for gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, the machines switched their vote to the Republican nominee for governor, Brian Kemp, who is also Georgia’s chief election officer in his current capacity as Secretary of State. Other voters have reported incidences of machines spitting their ballot card out when they inserted it into the electronic voting machines.
Georgia is one of five states that exclusively uses unauditable machines with no paper trail. The majority of Georgia’s machines are touch-screen voting systems. Not only are they old and out of date, they are cumbersome and easily hackable. For each election, Georgia’s voting machines are loaded with software that is controlled by the secretary of state’s office. At the end of the election, the voters have no way of verifying the results.
On July 7, 2017, according to court documents in the case, Curling v. Kemp (pdf), someone wiped the state’s election server clean.
Then they wiped the backup server.
If CGG’s effort is successful, the group may force the state to allow experts to determine what happened in the election. They are also fighting to force Georgia into buying a voting system utilizing hand-marked paper ballots counted with optical scanners. The secretary of states office has a record of destroying records and obstructing investigation with legal challenges.
If CGG fails, 4 million Georgia voters may never know if the 2018 election was legitimate. Thousands of black Georgians might not have had their votes counted. Oh, there’s one other thing you should know about the lieutenant governor’s race where roughly 127,000 disproportionately African-American votes seem to have vanished into thin air:
Sarah Riggs Amico lost by 123,172 votes. [Source]