Just the News reported over the weekend that a poll watcher in Georgia’s Fulton County had authored a nearly 30-page memo detailing what he described as “massive” failures on the part of election officials who were tasked with keeping the count secure.
Just the News said it obtained 29 pages of notes from the reportedly “handpicked” election monitor, who was said to have been contracted by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and tasked with neutrally observing the week-long ballot-counting process that took place at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
“Chain of custody”
Over the course of that week, Carter Jones, of the Seven Hills Strategies firm, reportedly took more than two dozen pages worth of notes that documented what he perceived as mistakes by Fulton County election officials.
Among Jones’ complaints was one over the allegedly chaotic set-up prior to Election Day, as well as apparent territorial beef between state employees and temp workers brought in as reinforcements.
He also claimed to have observed lack of proper training, guidance, and oversight for those temporary employees. More concerning, Jones cited “massive” problems with ballots that he said arrived in unsealed bins, contrary to regulation.
“This seems like a massive chain of custody problem,” he wrote in one note, according to Just the News.
Another major issue involved trouble with voting machines and backlogs created by what Jones described as incessant malfunctions.
“They’ve got butterfingers”
As Just the News noted, Jones’ memo fails to provide evidence of malfeasance on the part of county officials, and the poll watcher later indicated to the Associated Press that despite the chaos, he doesn’t believe any fraud took place that would have changed the results of the 2020 presidential race.
Still, Just the News said Jones’ “portrait of incompetence, mismanagement and bad election processes in Georgia’s largest voting center undercuts claims by state officials that the election went swimmingly.”
Raffensperger himself seemed to agree, telling the outlet: “It is no secret that Fulton has had issues in their elections department for decades, which is why I insisted on a state monitor being present to be eyes and ears on the ground.”
Jones, for his part, told the AP that he saw “nothing that should challenge the certification of this election,” but suggested changes still need to be made to ensure confidence in future races out of Georgia’s most populous county.
“Fulton needs to address these mismanagement issues because they are becoming serious,” the poll watcher told the AP. “I mean, the eyes of the world are on the county and, you know, they’ve got butterfingers.”