ATLANTA — Georgia’s Secretary of State says a randomized audit of voting machines in key counties has found no evidence of hacking or tampering.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Channel 2′s Mark Winne an outside forensic audit firm checked machines in Floyd, Paulding, Cobb, Morgan, Spalding and Douglas counties.
Raffensperger told Winne the Republican party or others have raised issues in those counties.
“We are glad but not surprised that the audit of the state’s voting machines was an unqualified success,” said Secretary Raffensperger. “Election security has been a top priority since day one of my administration. We have partnered with the Department of Homeland Security, the Georgia Cyber Center, Georgia Tech security experts, and wide range of other election security experts around the state and country so Georgia voters can be confident that their vote is safe and secure.”
Earlier Tuesday, Raffensperger announced his office has opened two investigations in Fulton County. The first is into how they handled the water leak at State Farm Arena and the second is how they handled their election monitors.
“We did a field audit. We conducted that using forensic techniques to verify that there was no hack or tampering of the voting equipment,” Raffensperger said.
This audit also comes as Raffensperger battles misinformation online.
Raffensperger took to Facebook late Sunday evening to debunk conspiracies on signature match laws, Dominion voting machine origins and the overall election integrity in Georgia.
“We wanted to make sure that voters had the facts, and they had the truth,” Raffensperger said.
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“How confident are you that if there had been a hack or some other breach you would’ve found it?” Winne asked Raffensperger.
“I’m pretty confident that we would’ve found it. If they altered that software we would’ve found it,” Raffensperger said.
The audit by was done by an outside firm called Pro V & V to make sure the voting machines worked.
“This audit of the machines by a third-party vendor turned up zero problems?” Winne asked Raffensperger.
“Correct. No issues whatsoever. No hacks, no tampering,” Raffensperger said.
In an interview with Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr on Monday, Raffensperger also took aim at rhetoric within his own party, honing in on recent criticism from Rep. Doug Collins, who leads President Donald Trump’s campaign on election recount in Georgia.
Collins, who tweeted about Raffensperger’s “incompetence” on Monday, has joined the Georgia GOP and Trump in calls for signature matching during Georgia’s hand recount.
Raffensperger, online and in the interview, repeated Georgia law that points out ballot signature matches were verified twice before the re-tallying audit even began.
“When you make a paper application and send it in, the signature is matched. And then when you send your ballot in, it’s matched again,” Raffensperger said. “And now for the first time ever, we’ve brought photo ID to the absentee ballot process with our online portal.”
Raffensperger said he is not running his office by partisanship, pointing out their investigations into every election integrity claim, outlawing ballot harvesting years ago and strengthening voter ID laws.
Winne received the following statement from Georgia State senators that held a news conference Tuesday.
"As State Senators for the State of Georgia, we are here to address the concerns that our constituents are expressing to us regarding the 2020 Election. Voters across Georgia have legitimate questions about the integrity of the voting process used in the election.
It is of utmost importance that we verify every legal vote and have confidence in the certified results, no matter who may prevail. We must have equal protection under the law coupled with a transparent process, otherwise, the citizens of Georgia will lose confidence in our voting system and believe voting is an exercise in futility. If voters lose faith in the system and are not motivated to go to the polls, the very foundation of self-government is destroyed. We, the people, must secure our vote and know that it is secure.
To answer legitimate questions we have heard from Georgia citizens and restore confidence in the integrity of the election system, several things must occur: First, we are asking the Senate to convene a Government Oversight Committee Hearing to address the questions and concerns being voiced by Georgia Citizens.
Second, must audit a random sample of the signature envelopes returned with the absentee by mail ballots still in the possession of election officials. This process should be done with a statistically relevant sample of ballots from around the state by professionals with experience in handwriting analysis.
As members of the Georgia General Assembly, we are concerned with the Consent Agreement that alters provisions of election law duly passed by the Georgia General Assembly. We would appreciate the opportunity to discuss the specifics and legality of this change with the parties involved at the requested Government Oversight Committee Hearing.
Going forward, as we prepare for the January Run-Off Elections, we must take additional action to protect the integrity of the vote. We have all heard of those wanting to move into the State of Georgia short term for the sole purpose of voting in the U.S. Senate Run-Off Election, which is a felony.
Therefore, anyone who was not eligible to vote in the General Election and who votes in the Run-Off must be double-checked for residency and their intent to lawfully move to Georgia. Those who violate our laws must be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent.
As voting begins, voters also want to be assured that each County Board of Elections has duly certified and maintained a clear chain of custody for the paper ballot boxes. As we know absentee by mail ballots will be widely used in the runoff, we must ensure voter signature match verification adheres to the extensive procedures laid out in Georgia law. Furthermore, immediately following the runoff, we must have an audit to ensure the accuracy of the voting equipment as allowed under Georgia law. We believe these steps are necessary to restore confidence in our election process and to guide us as legislators as we continue to review or process here in Georgia to ensure free and fair elections."