Plaintiff Paul Andrew Boland filed suit against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and other elected officials, alleging that ballots were cast by people who were no longer residents of Georgia and that departures from Election Code resulted in decreased signature verification.
Secretary Raffensperger was the chief state election official authorized to maintain voter rolls per the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. This required a reasonable effort to remove people from the state registry who were either deceased or no longer residents of Georgia. Failure to carry out these duties resulted in evidence, based on USPS records, that 20,312 ineligible votes were cast, far exceeding Joe Biden’s reported vote margin.
In March 2020 and without legislative authorization, Secretary Raffensperger entered into a settlement with the Democratic Party of Georgia, setting forth complicated standards for local officials to process absentee ballots. More safeguards were removed in October 2020, when the Defendants issued an order permitting absentee ballots to be opened prior to the close of polls. After these non-legislative adjustments, the rejection rate for absentee ballots stemming from signature failures alone plummeted from 1.53% in the 2018 mid-term election to 0.28% in the 2020 primary election to 0.15% in the general election.
Unfortunately, the meaningful signature verification that was clearly compromised was not addressed when Secretary Raffensperger conducted an audit and recount without requiring any signature matching.
Plaintiff Boland asked for an audit of voter rolls to confirm that they were maintained as required by Georgia’s Election Code, and a review of written ballots cast to confirm that signature verification was conducted as required by state law.
Defendants, joined by Democratic Elector-Intervenors, moved to dismiss the case and, during a December 8 hearing, this request was granted on procedural grounds alone. In an absurd ruling, Judge Richardson stated that Secretary Raffensperger (Georgia’s chief elections officer) was not a statutorily proscribed defendant, perhaps reading Georgia law literally for the first time in this election cycle. Additionally, Judge Richardson wrote that Plaintiff Boland’s claims were barred due to the lapse of time, among other elements in the commonly cited “doctrine of laches” that has been applied to much of the “procedural dismissals” of the 2020 election litigation.
Boland’s 164-page appeal to the Supreme Court of Georgia was submitted on December 14 and summarily denied on the same day with just one sentence.