(Daily Signal)—An expert in election data asserts that almost 35,000 Georgia voters in 2020 cast ballots from the wrong jurisdictions, but Georgia’s top election official hasn’t responded to his request for an investigation.
Mark Davis, president of Georgia-based Data Productions Inc., has pushed for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office to investigate his data since May 2021. Davis says he inquired again earlier this month after finding evidence of the same problems in Georgia’s 2021 and 2022 elections.
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“The same thing is going to happen again in 2024,” Davis, who earlier this year scored a legal victory over the Stacey Abrams-founded group Fair Fight Action– told The Daily Signal. “I first brought this up to the State Elections Board in 2002. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t admit you have a problem.”
“The secretary of state doesn’t want to address this because it happened on his watch,” he said of Raffensperger. “I don’t know why he’s being like that. It’s happened on everyone’s watch.”
Georgia is expected to be among the most closely contested states in the 2024 presidential election. In 2020, Joe Biden carried the state over Donald Trump by 11,000 votes.
Davis, who earlier this year scored a legal victory over the Stacey Abrams-founded group Fair Fight Action, analyzed voting records based on data from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office and the U.S. Postal Service. He had talked about the data in an affidavit used by the Trump campaign in disputing the outcome of the 2020 election in Georgia.
Davis provided The Daily Signal with his updated numbers as of February. They show that out of the 34,869 voters who cast ballots in the wrong jurisdiction, 4,696 who voted at a previous address in 2020 now are confirmed to have registered at the new address or have driver’s license information reflecting a change of address form with the Postal Service.
In May 2021, Davis’ analysis of voting and postal records showed that a total of 10,018 Georgia voters cast ballots in 2020 using an old address but whose voter registration or driver’s license information now matches their new address. That means that now, 14,714 is the total confirmed number of voters whose registration or driver’s license information matches a change of address form, although they voted unlawfully at an old address, according to Davis’ analysis.
“As discussed Friday, attached is a file of 34,869 records I would like the Secretary of State’s Office to investigate for residency issues relating to the November general election,” Davis wrote in a May 10, 2021, email to Gabe Sterling, chief operating officer for Raffensperger’s office, months after the election outcome was settled. “Many of these voters may also have had the same residency issues when they cast votes in previous elections as well.”
Voting from the wrong address usually occurs when someone votes at a polling place assigned to a previous residence rather than a current address. Willfully providing false information on a voter certificate is a felony under Georgia law punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a $100,000 fine.
Georgia law states that someone may vote in his or her former jurisdiction only if the move occurred within 30 days of the election.
Voting rules posted on county governments’ websites say:
If you move outside the county in which you are registered to vote within 30 days of an election, you may vote in your old precinct for that election. If you move outside the county in which you are registered to vote in excess of 30 days prior to an election, you have lost your eligibility to vote in the county of your old residence. You must register to vote in your new county of residence. You will be assigned a new voting precinct and polling location. Remember, if you don’t register to vote by the deadline, you cannot vote in that particular election.
Putting aside statewide races, Davis stressed that voting in the wrong county means that some cast ballots for offices such as sheriff, district attorney, and state legislator that don’t represent them. These voters, he said, conceivably could vote in favor of county tax increases they won’t pay.
In what became an infamous phone call to Raffensperger and other Georgia officials on Jan. 2, 2021, in the remaining three weeks of his presidency, Trump and his campaign lawyers referenced the data from Davis’s affidavit in saying illegal votes were cast in the Nov. 3 election.
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Trump’s phone call became part of the criminal indictment in Fulton County, Georgia, of the former president and over 15 associates for alleged conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
“To put this into context, these are 18 people being put on trial for conspiracy in Fulton County, in part because of that phone call,” Davis told The Daily Signal. “President Trump and his lawyers were not asking the Secretary of State’s Office to manufacture 11,779 votes. They were asking the Secretary of State’s Office to investigate unlawful votes we were already aware of.”
Davis, who has worked with voter data since 1986, said he has testified in five cases of disputed elections.
Raffensperger’s office confirmed it would investigate in 2021, but didn’t respond to his inquiry in 2022, Davis said. He said he contacted Raffensperger, a Republican, and other officials in his office Feb. 1 to ask whether an investigation had been opened—and if not, why not. Davis said he also inquired about voter data beyond the 2020 election.
“I have data and corroborating evidence strongly suggesting similar infractions occurred in the 2021 U.S. Senate runoff and the 2022 general election, and I expect to see more of the same in the 2024 general election unless measures are taken proactively to prevent that from occurring again,” Davis wrote in the Feb. 1 email. “If I make the effort to get that to you, is your office willing to open similar investigations?”
The email said Davis inquired about the matter to State Election Board member Ed Lindsey in November 2022 after contacting but not hearing back from Raffensperger’s office earlier that year.
“[Lindsey] indicated that he had not seen a complaint from me, and suggested I resubmit it through the online portal, which I did in late November of 2022,” Davis wrote, adding: “I recently inquired about that complaint as well, and it apparently cannot be located either.”
Raffensperger’s office counters that Davis is wrong about Georgia’s law.
“Mr. Davis’ assertions are incorrect and mischaracterize Georgia’s laws,” spokesman Mike Hassinger told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement, adding:
This office previously reviewed his ‘data’ and disagreed with his conclusions. Georgia conducts rigorous list maintenance, including reviews based on NCOA [national change of address] data, within the requirements of state and federal law. Georgia law says that all persons whose names appear on the list of electors shall be allowed to deposit their ballots according to law at the precinct in which they are registered. None of the information provided by Mr. Davis shows evidence of what he erroneously describes as ‘illegal’ votes.
Raffensperger’s spokesman was referring to the state’s voter registration list, since Georgia law calls voters “electors.”
In 2015, then-Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Republican who now is governor, voted along with the State Election Board to refer to the Georgia Attorney General’s Office a single case of a voter casting a ballot in the wrong county, Davis said.
“The Secretary of State’s Office changed its position on interpreting the law,” Davis told The Daily Signal. “The facts are no different than in 2015. Then you had one [ballot cast in the wrong place]; now you have thousands.”
Georgia election law says: “All persons whose names appear on the list of electors placed in the possession of the managers in each precinct and no others, except as otherwise provided in this article, shall be allowed to deposit their ballots according to law at the precinct in which they are registered.”
Davis said the law’s phrase “except as otherwise provided” reflects voters who are “not subsequently found to be disqualified” as discussed in another part of the statute, and those are “the exact voters we are talking about.”
In January, Davis won a federal court decision in a case in which he was a co-defendant along with the organization True the Vote and others. Fair Fight Action had sued over alleged voter intimidation after challenging the legality of votes.
Fair Fight Action was founded by Abrams, the twice-losing Democrat candidate for Georgia governor. U.S. District Judge Steve Jones of the Northern District of Georgia, appointed by President Barack Obama, ruled that Fair Fight Action had not presented evidence that voters were intimidated.
Davis provided his research to the Trump campaign during its challenge to the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. He testified to the Georgia State Senate’s Judiciary subcommittee on election law. IHe explained the illegal voting in sworn affidavits Nov. 30, 2020, nearly four weeks after the election, and on March 24, 2021, after the dispute was over.
“Mark Davis analyzed data from U.S. Postal Service change-of-address (COA) forms and compared it to voters who voted in their former precincts,” says the final state Senate report dated Dec. 3, 2020. “For example, he discovered that 14,980 out-of-state movers still voted in the Georgia general election. Another 40,279 moved across county lines more than 30 days prior to the election, yet still voted in their former county precincts, a violation of Georgia law.”
These initial numbers from shortly after the 2020 election included voters who filled out a change of address form by using a post office box. So these likely were not voters who moved to a different county.
The count he sent to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office was refined to subtract any addresses that included a post office box, Davis said.