• What's Going Wrong In Forsyth County - Why Are Democrats Cheering On A "Republican" Election Board Member?

    By Staff
    August 23, 2023
    1 Comment

    Activist publishes Substack questioning why Democrats came out to support a Republican to remain in his position on the election board and what Forsyth can expect for it's elections.

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    One of Forsyth County's recognized activist is calling out the appointment of a Forsyth County election board member that seems to go against the actual lawful nomination presented by the Republican Party of Forsyth.

    And the Democrats are cheering him on.

    Read Hank Sullivan's Substack article below (reprinted with permission,)

    Last week, championing Republican Governor Brian Kemp as one of their own, the Forsyth County DEMOCRAT Party came out in a big way, not only for Republican Kemp, but also, effectively, for Republican Joel Natt to remain in his present seat on the county elections board, appealing to their party faithful:

    We are asking you to call and email your County Commissioners and ask that they follow procedures that are already in place. Procedures that they have followed through with every previous appointment. Governor Kemp just this week maintained what Democrats have said all along that the 2020 election was not stolen and even asked why no one has stepped forward if they have evidence that it was.

    So here it is, local DEMOCRATS deciding Kemp and Natt are the good guys, publicly proclaiming Kemp to be on their side of election integrity issues, and that Natt is essentially a man for his time in the election board seat to be filled September 1. They would say that because they know (1) Natt is demonstrably anti-Trump; (2) Natt insists the 2020 election was not stolen; (3) Natt supports Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger; and (4) as a member of the Forsyth County Registrations and Elections Board (BRE), Joel Natt has shown he will not pursue investigating major challenges to Forsyth County voter rolls. What two guys could be better for the Democrats in 2024?

    Natt testifies AGAINST revolutionary election integrity bill
    Regarding Joel Natt’s questionably-lawful appointment to the Forsyth BRE, Democrat support is well-founded. In the aftermath of the 2020 election, the Forsyth County elections board vice-chair did practically everything Democrats might hope in order to prevent a new era of true election integrity to dawn in the State of Georgia and Forsyth County. During the 2021 General Assembly, a revolutionary election integrity bill, HB1464, was introduced to the Georgia legislature. HB1464, would have:

    allowed the GBI to launch election investigations;

    opened original paper ballots to public inspection;

    restricted nongovernmental funding to county election offices;

    required forms and seals after handling ballots;

    mandated “meaningful access” to poll watchers in polling places and tabulation centers;

    made it a felony to threaten violence against poll workers and election officials;

    given workers time off to vote either during early voting or election day;

    reduced the required number of voting machines on election day to account for people who voted early.

    Had it passed, HB1464 would have ensured Georgia elections to become markedly more secure and transparent into the future. Joel Natt, Vice-Chair of Forsyth County Board of Board of Registration and Elections, a professed Republican, traveled to Atlanta and testified AGAINST it to law-makers. In his remarks, Natt specifically argued against much needed ballot-tracking requirements, saying doing so would take too much paper…apparently meaning Natt values an $8 ream of paper more highly than valid elections.

    As a result of his and others’ efforts, HB1464 went down in flames. That’s one reason Democrats apparently LOVE Joel Natt. Joel Natt is a Democrat icon. They know true election integrity would mean Democrats lose. Obviously, they do not want to lose. Natt is their man.

    As BRE vice-chair, Natt voted AGAINST major voter roll challenges he later told fellow Republicans he actually agreed with

    In 2022, most remarkably, a local Forsyth County citizen, Mr. Frank Schneider, undertook the arduous task of researching over 12,000 names on the voter rolls, whose physical addresses according to the national change of address registry did not match the addresses on Forsyth voter rolls. In the process, Mr. Schneider effectively performed the work Natt’s BRE is supposed to do on an ongoing basis. Mr. Schneider performed his work out of a patriotic sense.

    At the May ‘22 meeting, Joel Natt effectively patted Mr. Schneider on the head, thanking him for all the work he had done, while voting to dismiss it all, encouraging the dedicated citizen to try again when the BRE would “have more time to digest it.”

    During the meeting, however, when asked whether time allowed the necessary work to be performed prior to the next election date, Elections Director Mandi Smith reportedly responded to the board, her staff “would do the work the board directed it to do,” effectively cancelling Natt’s concerns. As we will learn below, however, apparently Natt was disengenuous in his public statements during the meeting. The time factor of doing the work was never a primary concern.

    As reported above, Joel Natt, representing Republicans on the county BRE, sent Mr. Schneider away, apparently speaking without foundation that the elections staff did not have time to look at all the work Schneider had completed, when they apparently did have time, the kind of BRE action that makes Democrats dance in the streets.

    In video at local GOP HQ, Joel Natt reveals his “real reason” for voting against cleaning up Forsyth County voter rolls

    Faced with evidence of over 12,000 questionable names appearing on Forsyth County voter rolls, as reported, within an hour of voting against a motion for the BRE to investigate those names, knowing the time necessary to complete the project was no factor, BRE Vice-Chair, Republican Joel Natt was asked to explain to fellow GOP members his failure to promote election integrity at the meeting, his failure to argue on behalf of examining the names on Mr. Schneider’s list, and his subsequent vote aligning his purposes with election board Democrats bent on ignoring Mr. Schneider’s hard work, ultimately sending Schneider away.

    We know exactly what Mr. Natt told the group because of video capturing Natt’s explanations, which you can access in this article.

    With Mr. Schneider sitting to his right, in the first video Vice-Chair Natt contritely excuses his vote against investigating the names on the citizen’s list, blaming his decision on certain fear that he would be sued personally were he to argue and vote in favor of the motion. According to Natt, “I agree with the motion…I voted against it. But you have to understand, at that point I was not going to be the one who gets sued privately. Regardless of our job, we’re still citizens and we can be sued individually…I can’t afford that.” When Natt spoke his “fear defense” justifying his otherwise, apparently indefensible actions against promoting election integrity during the board meeting, he had already alleged that county attorney Ken Jarrard was presently defending a lawsuit against the board members, served to them the day before, Natt’s fear founded on the notion that were he to be “the odd man out” on this particular vote, somehow should a suit arise the county might not defend him. Notice, in speaking those remarks, Joel Natt effectively disqualified himself to serve on the BRE, announcing that he could not be counted on to serve the public’s interests when his private interests might overrule them. Natt’s excuse appears to be a smokescreen regardless, noting that arguing one’s positions and voting one’s convictions in good faith, along with devoting the time to do so, are the only requirements of a BRE member, a position he initially sought and obviously relishes.

    Apparently feeling he had successfully escaped scrutiny for his actions during the meeting, in the video Vice-Chair Natt begins anew, confidently turning on the offense, matter-of-factly affirming his agreement with Mr. Schneider that 17-20% of the voter registrations on Forsyth County voter rolls shouldn’t be there. According to the video, those percentages would amount to a figure of between approximately 29,000 to 34,000 names, names which of course a criminal duplicating Mr. Schneider’s research could use to fraudulently change the outcome of a major election. According to the official 2020 Georgia final results, President Donald Trump lost by less than 12,000 votes. In the video the BRE vice-chairman, Joel Natt, effectively admits those votes could have arisen from names on Mr. Schneider’s list, a list he expresses fear to even cast a losing vote on a motion to investigate.

    Whether Joel Natt was speaking truthfully concerning the previous day’s lawsuit, which is one subject of the video, is no concern to us today. That which concerns us is that in the video Mr. Natt apparently impugns his own integrity serving as a member of the BRE. And now he seeks another four-year term.

    But we are not yet done with the video. In part 2, Joel Natt double’s down on offense, cleverly focusing attention on the group asking him questions, diverting blame toward the Forsyth County Commission for underfunding the BRE, blaming the GOP group present for not packing the commission’s meeting room with 900 people demanding $10 million, or even, “unlimited funds at all costs,” to satisfy the needs of the BRE to investigate the names appearing on Mr. Schneider’s list, an activity which Elections Director Mandi Smith already indicated she could accomplish with present levels of funding, and which, as you heard in video #1, Joel Natt claims he is too fearful to even argue for during a meeting. His statements utilized a rhetorical device called, “obfuscation.” If an individual caught in a trap of logic can successfully focus an adversary’s attention elsewhere, obscuring the very reasons for their discussion, he might be able to escape to argue another day.

    Founding his next rhetorical statements on “F-bombs,” Natt exhorts the meeting-goers onward, focusing his attacks on those in the room, implying that he is not the problem, that they are the problem. According to Natt, those in the room are the problem because they have not attacked the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners with threats to “kick them out of the party” and to “personally go after them,” remarks obviously soon made aware to the commissioners, perhaps explaining why one commissioner would recently express to me the opinion that, “Joel Natt is a…,” well, I’d rather not say.

    Subtly, in the video Natt lowers his tone, patiently explaining as a father might that the Forsyth group must demonstrate their authority over not only the commissioners, but also over state GOP Chairman David Shafer, a name which when uttered builds Natt’s state of excitement again, as he further exhorts the group to challenge Shafer using their own “F-bombs, urging the group to “shake Shafer’s a$$!” Natt finishes his flurry attacking a private citizen for writing campaign contributions to a now former Forsyth County Georgia House member instead of “fighting election fraud.” Concluding, Natt softens his voice again, as a skilled TV preacher might before asking for money, urging the group members to find the best secretary of state, indicating, of course, that his choice would Brad Raffensperger.

    That was quite a display, all caught on video, exhibiting the skill of a schooled and seasoned Democrat politician, another reason Democrats apparently love Joel Natt and desire him to sit for second term on the Forsyth County Board of Elections.

    7th District Chair Joel Natt apparently attempting to influence a Republican voter (me) away from a Pro-Trump candidate before a primary

    Joel Natt consistently sides with candidates opposing former president, Donald Trump, Brad Raffensperger for example. Knowledgeable Democrats understand that and love him for it. Because Trump is far and away the favorite to be nominated as the Republican candidate for president in 2024, last week the Dems showed how excited they are that Joel Natt might keep his seat on the election board, apparently expecting Natt might somehow help them tip the final vote tally away from their mutual foe Trump. Why would they think that? Perhaps the following personal experience with Natt will help you understand.

    In 2019, during a time I was writing for our local paper, Joel Natt was serving as Chairman of Georgia’s 7th District Republican Party, coincidentally my home district. I had recently written a column on the 7th District congressional race. In the article, I did not endorse any congressional candidate. I did, however, offer my advice to the 7th District field, as well as to voters considering whom to support. In it, I wrote, “Republican candidates would be wise to pledge support for Trump.” Soon after the piece published I received a request from the 7th District Chairman, an individual whom I had never heard from prior, letting me know he would like to get together for a few minutes, obviously keying off the column I had written. I answered that would be fine, and to just let me know when.

    The time to meet happened by chance after attending a Forsyth County GOP meeting in which several candidates competing in the Spring Republican primary had opportunities to speak. One was 7th District Candidate Lynn Homrich, a decidedly pro-Trump, pro-MAGA candidate. After the meeting I had a nice talk with Lynn, a very gracious lady, and she offered me her campaign literature.

    Walking toward my vehicle, Joel Natt approached me. Seeing Ms. Homrich’s campaign literature, in an apparent attempt to influence this local columnist’s opinion of her candidacy, Joel Natt expressed to me directly, "You better be careful with her." I took Natt to mean he had a reason I should not support Ms. Homrich, a decision I had not made in any event. Naturally, I asked Joel why I should be careful supporting Lynn Homrich. His response puzzled me, at least at the time, the 7th District Chairman answering, "She has Bernie Marcus money."

    Confused, I answered with practically everything I knew about Mr. Marcus, which was that the Home Depot founder was a big Trump supporter, to which Natt replied, "That's just because of business." At that point, frankly feeling a bit slimed, all I could say was, "Well, I guess everybody has their reasons."  Joel Natt then begged off saying he would be in touch. Why is that important? It is important because, in the case before us, as 7th District Chair the Republican Party would never allow Joel Natt to either publicly favor, or criticize a GOP candidate running in a primary. Joel Natt, a known never-Trumper, knew I wrote for the paper, had read my recent column about the 7th District race, and in the parking lot apparently attempted to sway this writer’s opinion, knowing I might sway others away from supporting one of the pro-Trump candidates, Ms. Homrich, running for congress in the district he supervised. As a Republican district chair, you can’t do that. If he did it once, would he do something similar again, especially given certain power over the administration of Forsyth County elections? I don’t know.

    But my memory is vivid on this conversation because I memorialized it at the time, writing my experience to our county GOP chair, Patrick Bell, informing Mr. Bell I was not going to write about it in the paper, but asked him to be sensitive to Joel Natt’s behavior because if he did it once, he might do it again, and try to affect the 7th District race in other ways. Yes, I still have the communication.

    Why the Forsyth Election Board seat is important

    There is no more important political issue in America, Georgia and Forsyth County than election integrity. As I spoke to the Forsyth County Commission last week, without election integrity, the republic is lost, as Benjamin Franklin warned could happen exiting the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

    Another four year term for Joel Natt on Forsyth County’s election board, and for the reasons I offer above, I believe election integrity may be gone forever in this county. And that is why the election board is important and why Forsyth County Democrats are overjoyed by the prospect that Joel Natt might remain in his seat. Conversely, if election integrity is regained in Forsyth County, it means Democrats lose.

    Thanks for reading Hank’s Substack! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.

    Following Sullivan's publication, Brian K. Pritchard, host of Voice of Rural America, also called out Joel Natt saying "...Joel you are no Republican, get out of the seat and let a REAL Republican help secure elections for Forsyth County voters!..."

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    Robert Travis

    Swamp scum of the 1st-order - a man the GOP can truly be proud of!

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