Within 22 months after ballots are cast, federal civil rights law has required state and local election officials to “retain and preserve” records relating to elections involving federal officeholders. This law started in the 1960s.
There is a practice known as harvesting that is outlawed in the Peach State, wherein Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger embarks on an investigation into whether third-party liberal activists in 2020 illegally gathered and delivered absentee ballots for voters.
The GOP Times reported that as the investigation by the Georgia Department of State under embattled Secretary Brad Raffensperger embarks, spurred by a complaint from TrueTheVote, one fact is completely inescapable: crucial, irreplaceable evidence that could’ve expanded the scope far beyond what TrueTheVote found, uncovering even more ballot harvesting, is gone forever.
However, some of Georgia’s largest counties no longer possess evidence that could be helpful to probing the harvesting allegations: video camera surveillance footage that monitored the drop boxes installed around Georgia to help voters cast ballots during the pandemic…
JustTheNews reported what the election officials told them:
“We took direction from the Secretary of State and State Election Board, assuming they were not implementing a Rule contrary to law,” said the Cobb County elections office, which acknowledged it deleted its video footage from 2020. “Drop boxes were established under an emergency order from the Governor.”
Fulton County, home to Atlanta and the state’s largest voting metropolis, said it too has long since deleted the files.
“I was informed that the videos were only required to be kept for 30 days post-election,” spokeswoman Regina Waller said. “Please see bullet point number 5 of the attached SEB Rule regarding Elections in Georgia.”
Ahead of Pres. Joe Biden’s speech on voting rights today, Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger held a press conference at the State Capitol. In that press conference, he said the policies Biden will be pushing for today, “undermine the integrity of our elections.” pic.twitter.com/IlPIJ1uAQG
— Brooke Butler (@BrookeButlerTV) January 11, 2022
TrueTheVote alleged its evidence included video footage from surveillance cameras placed by counties outside the drop boxes as well as geolocation data for the cell phones of more than 200 activists seen on the tapes purportedly showing the dates and times of ballot drop-offs.
Indeed, the revelation that the largest counties in Georgia destroyed their footage and the evidence of statewide crimes that undoubtedly swung the election is gone is a hard pill to swallow.
The Gop Times has more of this story:
The Raffensperger investigation, already in uncertain hands at best, will now be limited to approximately 15% of all the drop boxes in the major urban areas around Atlanta. Therefore, only a fraction of the criminal activities will be prosecutable. With the evidence destroyed a full forensic audit of all 159 counties of Georgia is all but impossible.
Most gallingly, while county officials contend that the duty to “retain and preserve” didn’t apply to the surveillance videos, a memo from Attorney General Merrick Garland issued in 2021 directly contradicts that notion stating,
“The Civil Rights Act of 1960, now codified at 52 U.S.C. §§ 20701-20706, governs certain ‘[f]ederal election records.’ Section 301 of the Act requires state and local election officials to ‘retain and preserve’ all records relating to any ‘act requisite to voting’ for twenty-two months after the conduct of ‘any general, special, or primary election’ at which citizens vote for ‘President, Vice President, presidential elector, Member of the Senate, [or] Member of the House of Representatives,’ 52 U.S.C. § 20701. The materials covered by Section 301 extend beyond ‘papers’ to include other ‘records.’ Jurisdictions must therefore also retain and preserve records created in digital or electronic form.”
They knew it was an illegal order in 2020 when it was given, they knew after the election, they new before they destroyed the records and they were even reminded by Biden’s Attorney General. What happened in the 2020 Georgia Elections was truly criminal.