Georgia to audit Cobb County’s absentee ballot signatures, launch statewide study

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ATLANTA (WSAV) – Georgia’s secretary of state says his office is pulling all resources together to audit signatures on absentee ballot envelopes in Cobb County.

In a press conference Monday, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced his office recently received a report that the county may not have properly verified signatures in June.

The audit was prompted by a “specific allegation,” officials said, and will not impact the results of the state’s presidential election. With the help of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Raffensperger hopes to release the state’s findings in two weeks.

The secretary of state also announced the launch of a signature match statewide audit study with an accredited university.

“Now that the signature matching has been attacked again and again with no evidence, I feel we need to take steps to restore confidence in our elections,” Raffensperger said.

President Donald Trump has been among those to criticize Georgia’s signature match process, calling on Gov. Brian Kemp to take action.

The governor issued a statement following Raffensperger’s announcement on Cobb County:

I am glad Secretary Raffensperger has finally taken this necessary step to begin restoring confidence in our state’s election processes. I have called for a signature audit repeatedly since the November 3rd election. As Georgians head back to the polls for the January 5th runoffs, it is absolutely vital for every vote cast to be legal and for only legal votes to be counted.

Raffensperger said he hopes to move forward on his other proposals to restore public faith in the state’s elections, including moving away from Georgia’s signature match process to a voter ID on absentee ballots.

“Every Georgian needs to have faith in our elections — Republican, Democrat, Independent and every other affiliation,” he said. “From working with my staff and our investigators, I know we’ve had a secure election here in Georgia.”

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