GA EIection Series #20
On Monday August 1st, The Cherokee County Board of Elections met in Canton, Georgia to consider a non-partisan request by the Republican county chairman to audit the Governor and Secretary of State's (SOS) race from the 2022 primary. Over 200 people filled the new Bluffs Parkway auditorium to capacity. The vast majority of those there supported the audit of those controversial Republican primary races. The board and Elections Director Ann Dover previously conducted an audit of the 2022 runoff and have been more supportive of election transparency than most other Georgia counties.
Cherokee residents had lobbied hard for the audit and were hopeful a motion to conduct it would pass. However, attorney Ann Brumbaugh was allowed to make a variety of false and intimidating statements in a six minute attack on the very board that employs her. Brumbaugh, who formerly worked for the SOS office and State Election Board is now under contract to the Cherokee County board. After her attack, the board voted 3-1 for a motion made by Rachael Kinsey to deny the audit. Only board member Mike Byrd opposed the motion.
We are providing the audio of Brumbaugh's comments so you can make your our own decision but we have found twelve false or deceptive statements that intimidated the board into voting against an audit.
These statements with an explanation of their deceptive nature are:
1. "You have no unsealed ballots to vote on" - The board was voting to submit a court order to make sealed ballots public, not to vote on unsealed ballots.
2. "This is going to become a contested case" - Brumbaugh has no way to know that unsealing the ballots may become contested unless she has inside information on corrupt plans and activities to block election transparency in Cherokee County.
3. "We are in active litigation and therefore, you cannot audit those ballots" - The board can vote to request a court order to unseal ballots and then conduct an audit whether or not there is active litigation, which is irrelevant.
4. "The SOS office has tremendous power over this body (Cherokee board of elections)" - Georgia counties are legally responsible for county election results, not the SOS. The SOS office has no power over a superior court order to unseal ballots.
5. "They [SOS office] have the power to assess $5,000 per ballot fines" - The State Election Board only has power to assess a $5,000 fine for a violation of law and has no power to assess fines to those obeying a court order to unseal ballots so that an audit can be conducted.
6. "If they find that this body committed too many violations in too short of time you all can be gone and the SOS office and the SEB can put a single person in to run elections in Cherokee County" - Voting to request a court order to unseal ballots and conduct an audit does not violate Georgia election law. Fulton County is still operating their elections despite several violations of Georgia election law.
7. "There were no significant problems. The machines worked." - A hand count of the DeKalb District 2 Commission 2022 primary proved that candidate Michelle Long Spears was shorted over 3,000 votes, candidate Marshall Orson was credited with over 1,400 votes he did not actually receive, the voting system failed to count over 1,800 votes and the system selected the wrong winners. In Fulton County the voting system initially credited withdrawn candidate Linda Arnold with 3,317 votes even though her name was never printed on any Fulton ballot!
8. "There is an absence of factual basis to conduct an additional audit". The voting system failures described above in DeKalb and Fulton counties form a factual basis to conduct an audit. In addition, audit monitors in Cobb County found that the system may have added 15% more votes to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's totals than what he actually received. That is one of the two races the board was requested to audit.
9. "There has been no allegations that those machines stopped working on May 24" - On the contrary, the pending litigation that Brumbaugh referenced contains the exact allegations that the machines did not work correctly as mentioned above. She had to know that since she referenced it.
10. "There is no point to audit ballots that have already been audited"- No Election Day or mail-in ballots were ever audited for the Cherokee County 2022 Primary. Only the in-person selection summaries from the Oak Grove advance voting location were audited. That is why the audit is needed.
11. "There is no reason to conduct an additional audit" - Secretary Raffensperger purchased an unverifiable QR coded voting system against the will of many Georgians and the U.S. District Court subsequently ruled on Oct. 11, 2020 the system violates two Georgia laws. The secretary appealed the decision and continued to use the system for the 2022 primaries. After Open Records Requests (ORR) were filed for ballot copies on the May 24, 2022 election night, his office falsely threatened counties to prevent them from fulfilling those ORRs. He then certified results of his own election that vastly exceeded his poll projections. The voting system gave him 51% of the vote when he had only polled between 18 and 39%. Those coupled with the voting system failure are reasons to conduct an audit on the SOS race. Voters must have a complete, honest, transparent election to re-establish their trust in the system.
12. "There are significant legal risks to this board should they go forward with this audit" - There is actually more risk in not going forward with the audit since litigation has been filed against the county to unseal the ballots just exactly as the Cherokee Couty Elections Board was trying to do on its own. If the audit is conducted, it resolved pending litigation.
Brumbaugh, a Democrat from DeKalb County and former Obama campaign contributor, was hired by the Republican majority Cherokee County Election board and paid in part with "Zuckerbucks" funded by the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL). The movie Rigged 2020 documents how Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan spent $330 million to create CTCL and essentially rig the 2020 election. They hired CTCL policy director David Plouff, a former Obama campaign manager who authored the book entitled: "A Citizens Guide to Beating Donald Trump". Their money bribed counties to accept partisan "get out the vote" efforts, drop boxes for ballot harvesters and technical resources to control election systems. If counties did not comply they were obligated to return any money accepted. Now we know that the same money was also used to partly fund a Georgia attorney who is covering up another potentially rigged Georgia election.
On Monday, Brumbaugh violated her oath of office to "honestly, justly and uprightly conduct myself", She also appears to have clearly violated State Bar Rules 3.3 (a) that require her to not "knowingly make a false statement of fact to a tribunal, not "knowingly fail to disclose a material fact to the tribunal" and not "To be directly adverse to the position of the client".
So here is our message to the Cherokee County Election Board: When an election attorney makes a dozen false or misleading public statements in six minutes to intimidate the board into defying the will of the people it is time for a new election attorney who can better represent the people of Cherokee County in an honest, just and upright manner that is not adverse to their interests.