For Immediate Release from Joseph Kirk
I realize that there are a lot of concerns in the community about the General Election and the upcoming runoff in January. I would like to address some of these issues.
I take allegations of election fraud very seriously and ask that anyone who has personal knowledge of fraudulent activity occurring within Bartow County to report it to my office or to the Secretary of State’s Election Division for investigation. In order to act on these reports, I will need specific information: who was involved, what happened, and where it happened. If anyone receives something in the mail that they consider to be fraudulent, please report it before throwing it away. Evidence is necessary to the investigation and we cannot investigate what is not reported.
Bartow County’s Voting System
I am 100% confident that every vote for President of the United States was counted accurately in Bartow County. My poll workers are trained to prompt each voter to examine their ballot before they cast it, and every single person I have spoken to confirmed that they verified who they wanted to vote for before they put their ballot in the scanner. At the end of the day, the ballots are placed into a secure transport container with strict chain of custody protocols before being transported back to my office. After the election, we audited every ballot, by hand, one at a time, in front of representatives from both political parties who were able to confirm our process. The hand tally of the ballots confirmed that the voting system tabulated the results correctly. Our scanners do not have the ability to change a printed ballot, and I know of no software that can change a printed piece of paper.
Registering to Vote Online
The process for registering to vote online through the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office requires either a Georgia driver’s license number, or for the applicant to print out the registration application, sign it, and return it to the Bartow County Board of Elections and Voter Registration with a copy of either a valid photo ID or a government document with their name and current residence address. If the applicant does not include the required documentation with a mailed application, they will not be allowed to cast a ballot either through the mail or in person until they provide it.
Every ballot that is sent out in the mail has to be requested by the voter. Any person I have spoken to that claimed to get a ballot in the mail that they didn’t request either requested all the ballots for the year without realizing it, or mistook an absentee ballot application for an absentee ballot. Once we have the voter’s request, we verify that they are registered to vote and that they have not already voted before issuing them a ballot. When the ballot comes back from the voter (no matter how they return it to us), we verify that we issued them a ballot, that they are still eligible to vote, and they signed their oath before we accept it to be counted. If their signature does not match the registration card on file or they forget to sign the oath, they are given a chance to provide a sworn affidavit with a copy of acceptable identification before we will count their ballot. Every ballot cast in Bartow County went through this
Joseph Kirk, Bartow County Elections Supervisor