As the state of Georgia waits for a final tally of votes cast in the presidential election, there remain more questions than answers regarding the process to achieve that count, particularly in heavily-Democratic Fulton County that covers a portion of the Atlanta metro area.
These unanswered questions in Fulton County, along with a lack of transparency from public officials and misinformation from the media, caused Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer to voice his suspicion regarding the vote count in the entire state, The Daily Wire reported.
On Twitter on Monday, Shafer called attention to suspicious activity on election night, namely the announcement that ballot tabulations would cease at 10:30 p.m. — prompting poll watchers and observers to go home — only to find out that election workers continued to count votes for several more hours without oversight.
“Let me repeat. Fulton County elections officials told the media and our observers that they were shutting down the tabulation center at State Farm Arena at 10:30 p.m. on election night only to continue counting ballots in secret until 1:00 a.m,” Shafer tweeted.
He continued, “No one disputes that Fulton County elections officials falsely announced that the counting of ballots would stop at 10:30 p.m. No one disputes that Fulton County elected officials unlawfully resumed the counting of ballots after our observers left the center.”
No one disputes that Fulton County elections officials falsely announced that the counting of ballots would stop at 10:30 p.m. No one disputes that Fulton County elected officials unlawfully resumed the counting of ballots after our observers left the center.
— David Shafer (@DavidShafer) November 10, 2020
Shafer concluded his thread by calling out the major local newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for purposely misleading the people of Georgia: “The @AJC is gaslighting you when they report that there is no evidence of irregularity in the election.”
Regarding Shafer’s complaint about observers being told to go home only for counting to continue without observation, the head of Fulton County Elections, Richard Barron, implied that it was the fault of Republican observers for leaving the facility and not staying to continue observing the tabulations, Fox News reported.
Barron told the Journal-Constitution that he had indeed sent most of his workers home at 10:30 but that a few had remained to keep working under the watch of a state observer, and that the GOP observers — who had been told the count had stopped and should go home — were welcome to stay and watch.
Meanwhile, Fox News noted that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican drawing fire from all sides, has downplayed reports of alleged fraud in the state but nonetheless appointed a special monitor to keep watch over Fulton County, which he described as “one of our longtime problem Democrat-run counties.”
Whatever happened in Fulton County certainly does seem suspicious. Whether it was enough to impact the results of the election is another matter.
Nonetheless, Shafer is absolutely right to demand answers about what exactly transpired “in secret” during the overnight hours of election night.