GBI finishes signature audit in Cobb County, finds only two mismatches

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News has learned that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has finished the signature audit in Cobb County over the November election.

Earlier in the month, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said his office had investigated credible allegations that Cobb County improperly performed signature matches during the June primary, so he ordered a signature audit for the November election in that county.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray spoke with Raffensperger late Tuesday afternoon, who said there were only two mismatched signatures among the more than 15,000 votes in the audit.

The inaccuracy came from a wife who signed her name to ballots for both her and her husband, the Secretary of State said.

“It really shows you and should give voters confidence that there’s accuracy and integrity, and security, in the absentee ballot process so we’re really grateful for GBI’s support,” Raffensperger said.

The audit found no fraudulent absentee ballots with a 99% confidence threshold, Raffensperger’s office said in a news release Tuesday.

The audit was a first of its kind in Georgia.

President-elect Joe Biden won Georgia by roughly 12,000 votes.

Following President Donald Trump’s November loss, top Republican leaders, including the president, made calls for the same type of audit.

Georgia county elections offices had already undergone a hand recount audit, and a machine recount at the president’s request before dozens of lawsuits with unsubstantiated fraud claims were thrown out of courts across the country.

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A claim about Cobb County signature match surfaced in one of the lawsuits. So Raffensperger ordered the audit to clear the air over claims of voter fraud and misinformation.

The limited signature audit required teams of GBI agents and state election investigators to examine about 15,000 absentee envelope signatures, which were separated from the actual ballot when they were processed. That ensures a secret ballot, a right that’s cemented in the state constitution. Signatures were matched twice during the ballot count process.

The signatures were then compared to public state records, including driving services forms.

Raffensperger has come out and said in the days after the November election that he wants to end Georgia’s no excuse absentee voting and place limits on who can vote by mail.

“I think there should be a reason based for why you vote absentee,” Raffensperger said.

Gray asked Raffensperger why he wants to change a system he’s spent months defending and promoting.

“It’s a huge burden for the counties. In effect, what we are asking the counties to do is run three elections, one with absentee voting early voting and then Election Day,” Raffensperger said.

You can see the full report by CLICKING HERE.