We Are Watching the Corruption in Congress

We are Watching

Georgia Senate Panel Requests Forensic Audit of Fulton County Absentee Ballots

December 30, 2020 Updated: December 30, 2020

Georgia Senate’s Election Law Study Subcommittee unanimously passed a motion during a Dec. 30 hearing to request an audit of absentee ballots in Fulton County.

The senators are asking the state’s largest county to make the ballots “available for inspection” through a method outlined during the hearing by digital ID systems inventor Jovan Pulitzer.

Pulitzer suggested all absentee ballots in the state of Georgia be forensically examined and fraudulent ones identified in just a matter of hours. He called on state officials to allow the examination.

Officials in the Georgia Secretary of State’s office didn’t immediately respond to requests by The Epoch Times for comment on the subcommittee motion.

“Fulton County did not participate in today’s hearing,” county spokeswoman Jessica Corbitt-Dominguez said in an email to The Epoch Times. “We will continue to collaborate with the Secretary of State and General Assembly as we execute elections in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws.”

Georgia is one of the states where election results are being contested by the campaign of President Donald Trump and others. The current count in the state shows former Vice President Joe Biden ahead by some 12,000 votes.

The state has conducted manual and machine recounts, and an absentee ballot signature match audit in one county. These uncovered some issues and irregularities, but not enough to flip the results.

The brunt of the fraud allegations has been aimed at the heavily Democratic Fulton County, which includes Atlanta.

One of the county’s polling managers previously told state lawmakers that she opened a box of mail-in ballots with a batch of 110 that were “pristine” and not folded, indicating that they were never put in secrecy envelopes, as is required.

Pulitzer said that he and his team can detect if that’s the case.

Security camera footage from election night shows that in Fulton County, what appears to be tens of thousands of ballots were counted in the absence of party or state monitors. The video seems to show that election workers scanned the same batches of ballots repeatedly. This could be a legitimate action when there’s a scanning error in the batch, such as when the ballots get jammed in the scanner.

In that scenario, the workers are supposed to discard the whole batch of scans and scan the ballots again, but the video quality makes it hard to discern if that was the case in each instance.

Pulitzer said that he and his team could detect if that was the case as well.

“We would be able to tell if they were folded, if they were counterfeit, whether they were filled out by a human hand, whether they were printed by a machine, whether they were batch-fed continually over and over, we can detect every bit of that,” he testified.

The ballot paper itself, when scanned, becomes a piece of code, he explained. Every time the paper is physically handled, such as folded or written upon, the code would change and the change can be detected.

The examination he proposed can be done expediently, he said.

“All of these problems that you’ve heard today can be corrected and detected now by the simplest of things. It takes you days or weeks to recount votes. Give me these 500,000 ballots, we’ll have them done in two hours,” he said, apparently referring to the 528,777 ballots cast in Fulton.

About 5 million ballots were cast statewide.

Pulitzer criticized state authorities for refusing to allow a full-scale forensic audit.

“This is the historical artifact of a voter. And states are telling voters, ‘You have no right to that,’” he said.

“The very voter that pays your salary, that paid for that ballot, that paid for that piece of paper, and paid for the machine that you’re running it in. And so those people that pay your salary, that you work for, and do this for, you’re telling them, ‘You can’t look at them.’

“That is both unacceptable and un-American.”

Follow Petr on Twitter: @petrsvab

Trump Files Suit Against Wisconsin Elections Commission in US Supreme Court

December 31, 2020 Updated: December 31, 2020

President Donald Trump on Wednesday filed an election-related appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the high court to declare the Wisconsin election unconstitutional and order the legislature to appoint a different slate of electors who would cast their votes for Trump.

Citing “multiple violations of law,” the lawsuit (pdf) asks the Supreme Court to void the Wisconsin election and order the state legislature to nominate electors in line with Article II, Sec 1.2 of the U.S. Constitution. Trump lost the battleground state to Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden by about 21,000 votes, according to official records.

The complaint alleges that, during the 2020 presidential election, “the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) and local election officials implemented unauthorized, illegal absentee voting drop boxes, compelled illegal corrections to absentee ballot witness certificates by poll workers, and encouraged widespread voter misuse of ‘indefinitely confined’ status to avoid voter ID laws, all in disregard of the Legislature’s explicit command to ‘carefully regulate’ the absentee voting process.” It also alleges that “tens of thousands of invalid absentee ballots” were received and counted in violation of Wisconsin election laws.

The allegations have been addressed in general terms by the Wisconsin Elections Commission in a series of statements on its website, including around the use of drop boxesballot curing, and “indefinitely confined” status.

“We understand that some voters still have questions about how the election was conducted and how the winners were determined,” said Meagan Wolfe, administrator of the WEC and Wisconsin’s chief election official, in a statement. “It’s our job to answer those questions with facts and to explain what procedures Wisconsin’s election officials use to follow state election laws,” she added.

An appeals court on Dec. 24 dismissed Trump’s contest-of-election lawsuit on the basis of an unreasonable delay in filing the suit, known as the doctrine of “laches,” and upheld an earlier district court ruling that found Trump’s initial lawsuit “lacked merit, as he objected only to the administration of the election.”

“On the merits, the district court was right to enter judgment for the defendants,” the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in its ruling (pdf). “We reach this conclusion in no small part because of the President’s delay in bringing the challenges to Wisconsin law that provide the foundation for the alleged constitutional violation. Even apart from the delay, the claims fail under the Electors Clause,” the appeals court added.

However, the court also concluded that Trump’s complaint “presents a federal question, despite its anchoring in alleged violations of state law,” paving the way for the case to be brought before the U.S. Supreme Court for consideration.

“The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals specifically held that if the Trump Campaign proved its case, it could void the election as ‘failed,’ and order decertification of the Biden electors, requiring the Wisconsin legislature to appoint electors,” the Trump campaign said in a statement.

“In Wisconsin, guardrails against fraud were repeatedly lowered by unelected bureaucrats who changed the rules on the eve of the election without authority to do so,” Bill Bock, a Trump attorney, said in a statement.

Bock said the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is asking for the high court “to find these last-minute changes unconstitutional and conclude that they make it impossible to determine which candidate received the most valid votes.”

“Nothing is more important to our national fabric and our future than integrity in our electoral process. This lawsuit is one step in the direction of fairer, more transparent, more professional, and ultimately more reliable elections in America,” Bock said.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM

Jan 6th Comes into Focus

Jan 6th Comes into Focus 

Trump Says China ‘Biggest Winner’ of US National Defense Bill, Vows to Veto

December 13, 2020 Updated: December 13, 2020

President Donald Trump said that he will veto the defense bill that passed with bipartisan support in Congress last week.

“THE BIGGEST WINNER OF OUR NEW DEFENSE BILL IS CHINA!. I WILL VETO!” the president declared on Twitter on Dec. 13.

The Senate on Dec. 11 passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in an 84–13 vote, after the president said he would veto the measure. The House had earlier approved the bill by a 335–78 vote.

“I hope House Republicans will vote against the very weak National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which I will VETO,” the president wrote on Dec. 8. “Must include a termination of Section 230 (for National Security purposes), preserve our National Monuments, & allow for 5G & troop reductions in foreign lands!”

For months, the president has railed against Section 230, a federal law that provides blanket liability protections for social media and tech companies. Trump and Republicans have said the bill allows those companies to essentially make discretionary choices about what content should be allowed, adding that the companies have unfairly targeted conservatives.

The NDAA bill also doesn’t support Trump’s efforts to draw down troops in Afghanistan and Germany.

“Today, we passed the 60th annual National Defense Authorization Act,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said in a statement on Dec. 11 following its passage. “NDAA keeps America safe by giving troops a well-deserved raise, providing them with cutting-edge technology, [and] funding important defense projects.”

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said, “This legislation is a vital step in the process of funding America’s defense to provide protection for our country and care for our troops.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the bill will “keep our forces ready to deter China and stand strong in the Indo-Pacific,” and provides “more than $740 billion for the training, tools, and cutting-edge equipment that our service members and civilian employees need to defend American lives and American interests.”

One of those who voted against the measure, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), said he doesn’t support a bill that limits Trump’s actions in drawing down troops from Germany and Afghanistan.

Should Trump veto the bill, some lawmakers said they believe they will be able to override it.

“I think we can override the veto, if in fact he vetoes,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Dec. 8. “I hope he does not veto, I hope he reconsiders. And I think he will get substantial pressure, advice (from Republicans) that, you know, you don’t want to put the defense bill at risk.”

House Votes to Override Trump’s Veto of 2021 Defense Policy Bill

December 28, 2020 Updated: December 28, 2020

The House voted late Monday to override President Donald Trump’s veto of a defense spending bill for 2021.

The override measure, passed by a 322-87 vote, is now headed to the Senate for consideration, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has indicated that his chamber would vote on Tuesday to override Trump’s veto. The override would need a two-thirds majority to succeed.

“In the event that the president has vetoed the bill, and the House has voted to override the veto, the Senate would have the opportunity to process a veto override at that time,” McConnell previously said on Dec. 22.

The bill, the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), outlines the national security policy for the Department of Defense in 2021 and authorizes $740 billion in spending. It passed the House on Dec. 8 by a vote of 335–78, and later passed the Senate on Dec. 11 by a vote of 84–13.

Trump vetoed the bill on Dec. 23, saying that it fails to remove Section 230 of the Communications and Decency Act, among other reasons. Section 230 provides blanket liability protections for social media and tech companies.

“Unfortunately, the Act fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military’s history, and contradicts efforts by my Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions,” the president said in a Dec. 23 statement. “It is a ‘gift’ to China and Russia.”

There’s no mention in the NDAA defense bill of Section 230 of the Communications and Decency Act, he noted. Trump said the 1996 law “must be repealed,” as it facilitates “the spread of foreign disinformation online,” making it a “serious threat to our national security and election integrity.”

Both Republicans and Democrats have called for Section 230 to be repealed. Conservatives have said it enables social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook to make discretionary choices in censoring dissenting views, while some progressives have said the law fails to take “hate speech” posted on those platforms into account.

Trump, in his statement, noted that the NDAA doesn’t support his ability to “withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Germany, and South Korea.”

“Not only is this bad policy, but it is unconstitutional. Article II of the Constitution makes the President the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States and vests in him the executive power. Therefore, the decision regarding how many troops to deploy and where, including in Afghanistan, Germany, and South Korea, rests with him. The Congress may not arrogate this authority to itself directly or indirectly as purported spending restrictions.”

The House late on Monday also voted to increase COVID-19 relief direct payments from $600 to $2,000, a measure supported by the president.

Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

Follow Mimi on Twitter: @MimiNguyenLy
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