DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Nearly a week after Channel 2 Action News first reported a bombshell allegation that a local elections office lost thousands of absentee ballot requests, we are now getting exclusive insight into the investigation.
DeKalb County elections officials told Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant that an intensive investigation still hasn't turned up any evidence that those ballots were lost.
When the Georgia Democratic Party contacted the secretary of state’s office about the allegation, state and DeKalb County sources told Diamant that a lot of election leaders dropped everything to sort out what was going on.
Their investigation even led them to a Decatur post office, but if there's evidence of thousands of lost absentee ballot requests, they're still waiting see it.
“We were just completely flabbergasted that we could have this kind of a claim,” said DeKalb County communications director Andrew Cauthen.
Cauthen was the first official to agree to speak to Diamant on camera nearly a week after we first reported the claim by the Democratic Party of Georgia that as many as 4,700 DeKalb County voters never received the absentee-by-mail ballots they requested for the gubernatorial election.
“We spent over a week, and a lot of man hours looking for these alleged missing absentee ballot request forms,” Cauthen said.
Cauthen said the county’s investigation started immediately at its elections office where a small army of officials scoured the facility and interviewed employees.
“There is no evidence that these letters ever made it to any DeKalb County facility,” Cauthen told Diamant. “We went to the post office, interviewed the postmaster. We studied their processes.”
Cauthen said county officials even questioned the letter carrier at the Decatur post office that delivers to the elections office and asked the postmaster to review electronic data -- supposedly delivery scans the party gave the county to back up its claim.
“They are not. We showed this data to the postmaster, the local postmaster and she said that it does not show that it was ever delivered anywhere. I mean, that’s not what the data is designed to do,” Cauthen said.
Despite Diamant's repeated requests, the party has not provided Channel 2 Action News with any proof to back up its claim of all those missing ballots.
“As far as we know, it is not a thing. I mean, unless someone can show us some more data that proves to us that we have it, we have nothing else to investigate,” Cauthen said.
Every request Diamant has made over the last week to question Democratic party leaders about all this has either been turned down or ignored.
A spokesperson for the secretary of state's office said the office hasn't received any evidence to substantiate the claim either and urged anyone with information to call the office as soon as possible.
Cox Media Group