November 20, 2008
Georgia Certified Election Results Missing 130 Votes
ATLANTA, GA – The Constitution Party of Georgia presented documentation today that showed the official 2008 Georgia election results failed to include more than 10% of the votes cast for Constitution Party Presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin. As sample evidence, party officials contrasted the certified Cherokee County election results, which confirm 75 votes for Baldwin, with the official November 14th state results for Cherokee County, which show no votes for Baldwin. After sampling the official county results from 100 of Georgia’s 159 counties, party officials estimated that more than 130 of Baldwin’s 1,300 votes from 10 specific counties were missing.
The Constitution Party of Georgia has petitioned the Secretary of State to re-canvass each county and obtain the certified write in votes. While the Elections Division has corrected a couple of the most egregious errors, some county results still remain underreported. November 19th was the final deadline for election certifications as required by law. It is unclear if the results will ever be corrected to reflect the official county results.
State party chair Ricardo Davis explained that this is not the first time a Constitution Party write-in candidate has been initially denied his votes. In the 2006 elections, Fulton County initially lost 238 of 240 votes cast for State House 65th district candidate James “Woody” Holmes. After Mr. Holmes and Mr. Davis protested, county officials found the votes. Mr. Holmes and Mr. Davis still believe the final totals are dramatically underreported based on campaign outreach efforts. However, Davis said that there is no way to be sure since Georgia electronic voting equipment has no independent audit trail that can be used to verify the votes.
Equally as disturbing, the party also provided official state results from November 13th and 14th showing that official totals for all write-in candidates, including Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader, were reduced by two thirds between the two days. For example, Mr. Baldwin was originally reported to have received over 3,600 votes on November 13th. Election workers blamed the discrepancy on a computer glitch that initially over-reported votes of all write in candidates.
Baldwin, McKinney and Nader, who were all on enough ballots in other states to hypothetically win the presidency, were forced into write-in status in Georgia. Georgia has long been recognized by Ballot Access News as having the most restrictive ballot access laws in the country. According to Ballot Access News, some Georgia election regulations for some races are 10 times more restrictive than those of a combined national average of all other states. Mr. Davis contended that the state of Georgia and its county officials could have saved time, cut costs and reduced risk of human error if all three candidates were placed on the ballot as they were in most other states.
Mr. Davis is also a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the state of Georgia regarding its use of a certain type of electronic voting equipment. The suit contends that election results cannot be properly verified, audited and recounted. The suit can be viewed at www.voterga.org. Mr. Davis explained, “Georgia is the only state in the union that plans to conduct future statewide elections on unverifiable voting equipment. It is time for a major overhaul of Georgia election law, equipment and procedures.”
Media Contacts: Garland Favorito (404) 664-4044