Following receipt of a referral from Acting State Election Board Chairman Matthew Mashburn, The Georgia Senate has sponsored SB 358 which would confirm the State Election Board's power and authority to investigate the Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, remove him as a member of the SEB, and order him to cooperate in such investigation(s).
Mashburn sent the referral to on Thursday of this week. The referral letter appears below:
This process comes after testimony at the last State Election Board meeting by citizen election integrity advocate Joseph Rossi and others, describing errors found in 2020 election reporting tied to Raffensperger’s office. These initial findings and an inability to obtain explanations from Raffensperger's office, led Rossi to provide the evidence to Gov. Brian Kemp's office which performed its own independent analysis and then issued a written finding saying that Rossi's results were factual.
During the December 19th SEB testimony, Rossi also reported that since the time of Kemp's report in last 2021, investigators, assistant AG Charlene McGowan (who now works in Rannfesperger's office) , and even certain members of the State Election Board appeared to have attempted to block investigations or divert attention from the mounting stack of evidence.
Faced with evidence and a public call for investigations into the Raffenspergers conduct, the SEB voted to request that the legislature confirm SEB authority to conduct an investigation into the Secretary of State.
After receiving the referral, the Senate acted to create the proposed Bill 358 to allow the SEB to begin investigation into the SoS.
Senate Bill 358 can be viewed below:
Sponsors of the Bill include Senate Majority Leader Steve Gooch, Senator Greg Dolezal and others:
The Georgia Record notes that other Atlanta outlets appeared to downplay the meaning of Senate's decision and indeed the errors shown and confirmed by the Governors office as early as late 2021. They omit comment on the steps observed from investigators, Charlene McGowan and certain members of the State Election Board that may suggest a cover-up to shield the SoS office from further inquiry.
Notably, Raffensperger avoided appearance before the Senate Ethics Committee in November, opting instead to attend a "Rotary Meeting" in Sothern Georgia. In his place he sent Charlene McGowan flanked by a representative of Dominion Voting Systems to answer questions from the committee, many of which went unanswered or differed.
Many eyes now rest on the Senate Bill proposed. Will this finally spark the process to get answers from Brad Raffensperger that have been avoided to date? We will see.