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Democrats, Media Allies Pressure Georgia Election Officials To Blindly Certify Elections

A new rule could stop leftists from bullying election officials into certifying results without completing their duties.

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Thanks to Democrats’ latest intimidation tactics, Georgia Board of Registration and Elections (BRE) members are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Under Georgia law, BRE members are given superintendent power to review election procedures as well as the duty to ensure those procedures are followed.

Yet, if Election Day comes and there are known issues with chain of custody, important documentation is withheld, or various statutorily required election procedures were violated and not addressed, BRE members face undue pressure to certify the election anyway.

According to the reasoning of liberal groups, it does not matter that the Georgia election code states that BRE members have a duty to “inspect systematically and thoroughly” the conduct of elections “to the end that primaries and elections may be honestly, efficiently and uniformly conducted.” They must still certify or face legal consequences.

Fortunately, a rule proposal has been submitted to the Georgia State Election Board (SEB) that would further cement the role of certification by providing clearer order and stating that certification must occur “in the manner required by the chapter.” Although the context of the election code is already clear, adopting the proposed rule would help resolve any conflict in understanding by referencing the whole chapter and pointing out that certification is part of a process, not a standalone one-and-done.

The role of certification has gained more attention in recent reporting, with both local and national outlets aggressively suggesting that BRE members’ role in certification is ceremonial. When BRE members refused to certify in Georgia’s November municipal election, members were blasted by national news voices like Rachel Maddow.

Others have suggested that election officials who fail to certify could be prosecuted. If that were not intimidating enough, these board members were also sent targeted letters from the Democratic Party of Georgia (DPG) suggesting the same thing. For board members trying to follow the law, it’s a lose-lose situation.

To justify their position, corporate news outlets and the DPG point to the election code’s language that states that board members “shall” certify the election. However, this interpretation is flawed. Any requirement that board members certify is clearly subject to a certain timeline. Even if you assume board members must certify, it is only after all the other duties and procedures in the statute have been addressed.

For example, no one should expect board members to certify the election before the votes have been tabulated — that would be absurd. The same kind of timing problem exists here. Recent commentary on the role of certification unduly pressures election officials to certify before proper verification, which is a legally questionable course of action.

To give another example, BRE members have a duty to ensure that the number of ballots cast matches the number of people who voted before the votes are recorded. If these numbers do not match, the law requires the recording of votes to cease until the matter is investigated and resolved. If the numbers do not match, and the issue has not been resolved, how are BRE members supposed to comply with this statute and the left’s position of automatic certification?

The answer is they can’t. It is worth noting that if Fulton County election officials had reconciled ballot numbers according to the statute in 2020, the county would have caught the 3,000 duplicate votes that were erroneously counted in the general election.

Of course, there are inappropriate reasons to fail to certify the election. If the prescribed process is complete and all their duties have been performed, then and only then “shall” BRE members certify the election. This prevents BRE members from failing to certify the election for political or obstructive reasons. A BRE member cannot refuse to certify the election because he doesn’t like the result or has vague unspecified suspicions.

BRE members are not purposeless figureheads of county boards. They are valuable public servants meant to actively ensure the lawful execution of one of our most prized American rights and traditions. Treating certification as a ministerial task shackles election officials and keeps them from being effective in their duty, and it is an important duty we have appointed them to do.

As an increasing number of partisan reports continue to push for illogical procedures that cheapen election security, the adoption of a rule that certification must occur “in the manner required by the chapter” could prevent Election Day intimidation tactics from being used to bombard and pressure election officials into certifying without completing their duties.

The SEB meeting where these rules will be voted on is this week. Hopefully, the board will vote in a way that maintains consistency in the election code and allows county board members to do their job.


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