State Board of Elections Meeting 04/28/21

9 AM – 11 AM – Opal Baker 

Rebecca Sullivan, Vice Chair, served as acting Chair.

General Counsel of the SOS office, Ryan Germany, gave an overview of the work being done to implement SB202:

1. New AB application form and envelope are needed; will be checking with other states to see what types of envelopes they use to ensure security through the mail. 

2. Looking into what kinds of instructions will be required to include with ABs.

3. New rules and updates to existing rules have to be made based on SB202 requirements; want to complete soon since SB202 goes in effect of July 1, 2021. Use the existing rules working group that was already working on changes based on HB 316 and updating voting system. The working group would include SOS staff, SEB members, Richmond County election board superintendent. Wants to have the new rules completed and posted by summer before November municipal election cycle.

4. No board members objected to any portion German’s update.

Investigation Reports-Consent Cases

1. Rebecca Sullivan pulled out 2 cases she felt required further discussion: 2020-257 & 2020-289; David Worley pulled out 2 additional cases: 2020-220 & 2020-283; Ahn Lee recused herself from 2020-105.

    a. 2020-220 Cobb County (AB Fraud)-“someone” complained that 2 women living in Canada and 1 man living in New York were committing voter fraud by voting in Georgia. Investigation shows that the 2 women in Canada maintain their US citizenship and are eligible to vote in Georgia. The man in New York is a resident of Georgia going to medical school in New York and is eligible to vote in Georgia. The man, Semeet Bau (?) spoke to the board confirming that he is a resident of Georgia and fully intends to return after his training. The complainant was present on zoom, but did not come off mute to comment. Someone commented that the complainant didn’t know any of the people accused and got the “evidence” of fraud off social media. Worley moved to dismiss; someone second; no discussion; motion to dismiss passed.

   b. 2020-257 Cobb County (AB Signature Verification)-essentially SOS announced signature audit of AB in Cobb County; SOS investigator and GBS investigators reviewed a sample of 396 AB from November 2020 general election; 10 of the 396 had to be cured, 386 were deemed valid. 2 of the 10 should have been properly identified by Cobb County elections staff as requiring voter attention before accepting the ballot, but nothing fraudulent was identified during the audit. Recommended the motion be dismissed. Worley motioned to dismiss; someone 2nd; motion passed. Mashburn spoke on the time and expense of conducting ballot audits and that there was still no evidence of massive fraud in Georgia elections.

   c. 2020-283 Newton County (Tabulations)-cases of alleged ballot harvesting. Matthew Douglas of (Conyers?), Georgia complained that time posted on county election board Facebook page for ballot counting was not the same when he showed up at the location, both front doors were locked. He called the Newton County Board of Elections office and spoke to someone named Carl who stated that the counting had ended at midnight the night before and only election ballot processing was occurring that day; absentee ballots were being signature matched. Another person, James (?) of Oxford Georgia complained that approximately a week before the 2020 general election, he witnessed ballot harvesting; he saw an individual delivered 20 to 30 absentee ballots to the Newton County the courthouse and that a deputy on duty was helping. The investigation into these cases showed that 1) audits/counting were conducted during posted time, except when it was finished early. Officials from both parties were notified of this by election board chair and 2) security cameras were review and the witness saw elections staff removing ballots from the drop box for processing in the elections office. The investigation could not substantiate any election code violations. It was recommended that the case be dismissed; so motioned (could not hear who motioned or who second); motion passed.

    d. 2020-289 Cobb County (Destruction of Ballots)-a video uploaded to YouTube alleging that Cobb County was shredding ballots. This involves a shredder truck from Dominion Voting Systems. Preliminary investigations involving the county supervisor, Georgia SOS, GBI and Homeland Security. The initial complainant says that he had no first-hand knowledge of the incident, but saw it on YouTube. 2 other complainants, Susan Knox and Sally Grubbs, were also interviewed. Investigators received a notarized declaration and affidavit from Susan Knox. Sally Grubbs said that she was already interviewed by the SOS office and wasn’t interested in being interviewed again, unless they could guarantee that they wouldn’t waste her time. Susan Knox said that she saw the trucks destroying the ballots where election certification was taking. The investigation showed that the items that were being shredded were empty envelopes, training materials, paper print-outs and other non-relevant materials. Recommended that the case be dismissed. 2 of the complainant made public comments–Susan Knox and Sally Grubbs. A fair amount of back-and-forth between Ms. Knox and Mr. Mashburn regarding the thoroughness of the investigation with Ms. Knox insisting that ballots were shredded and Mr. Mashburn stating that there were only empty ballots and he is satisfied with the investigation and spoke about “without prejudice.” Mashburn motioned that the case be dismissed; it was seconded; motioned passed.

2020-289 Cobb County (Destruction of Ballots)-Susan Knox stated that she was never informed that the FBI conducted an investigation and, basically, doesn’t believe that a serious investigation took place. Says she conducted open record requests and got no information. Demanded a full investigation and evidence of such. Washburn stated that he reviewed her case and a thorough investigation was done and asked if she had new evidence. Knox stated that she had additional photos, then began to speak out against the board. She was asked by chairperson Sullivan to maintain decorum and professionalism.

Mr. Worley spoke for 5 minutes on the record of his concern about the passing of SB202, particularly the parts of it that strips the SOS of membership from the SEB and giving the SEB the power to dismiss local & county board personnel. (see transcript 9:13:18 – 9:18:46)


11 AM – 1 PM – Alan Kaufman

Case 2018-088 Bulloch County 

Election Superintendent failed to comply with court order regarding signature match

Recommendation- Refer to AG for failing to notify 3 voters of match issues

PASSED 

Later in the meeting staff testified that staffing issues caused this and was unintentional and requested reconsideration with request for Letter of Instruction-Board did not reconsider 

Case 2018-109 Fulton County 

Voter submitted absentee ballot with signature match which she said she did not file

Recommendation to refer to AG 

PASSED 

Case 2019-048 Waynesboro 

Alleged that Absentee Ballots were mailed late 

Verified that 28 were not mailed within 3 business days following receipt of request

Recommendation- refer to AG 

PASSED 

Case 2019-049 Palmetto 

Alleged that the polling location was change without proper notice 

Recommendation-refer to AG 

Request to continue as officials did not receive notice in order to prepare

CONTINUED 

Case 2020-031 Dekalb 

Anh Le recused 

Alleged that a voter who arrived after 7pm protested the decision that his vote would be provisional by kicking a table over and cussing at the poll worker out of frustration

Recommendation-refer to AG

Discussion -important case as most cases accuse election staff and poll workers of wrongdoing and this was opportunity to shop support for their dedication and hard work

PASSED with comment in support of Poll Workers 

Case 2020-032 Greene 

Voter was told he was not registered in Greene and could vote provisional. He became irate and stated he had voted in Greene previously 

No record that he voted in Greene 

CONTINUED due to technical issues with the voter being able to speak. Case 2020-041 Floyd 

Voter received multiple unsolicited Absentee Ballot registration requests

Voter has multiple registrations due to using a different format of their name when getting driver’s license which allowed him to vote twice 

Recommendation-refer to AG 

Attorney for the County stated she knows the voter personally and is aware he uses a format of his name that is different from his legal name and that there was no intentional wrongdoing 

Matt Mashburn recommended a Letter of Instruction as recommended by the county’s attorney . He commented that the voter’s spouse is a long standing State Rep [Katie Dempsey] and wanted to insure it was known that she is not being accused here.

Mashburn motion did not receive a second 

Anh Le proposed that due to double voting this be referred to AG to insure proper training for future 

Le motion PASSED 

Case 2020-045 Dekalb 

Anh Le recused 

15 complaints that voters did not receive Absentee Ballots 

3 were substantiated but requests were sent to incorrect email and then forwarded to correct email 

Recommendation-refer to AG 

County officer stated that County received over 100,000 requests for Absentee Ballots, was limited by Covid restrictions and has worked with voting consultant to improve procedures for future 

PASSED 

Case 2020-068 Harris 

County failed to begin advanced voting for local race

County stated they were not aware they were required to start and as soon as the issue was known started the next day-that no one requested to vote on the day they should have started 

County requested dismissal or Letter of Instruction 

Anh Le asked for details of corrective actions which were provided 

Motion to require Letter of Instruction 

PASSED 

Case 2020-077 Cobb 

CONTINUED 

Case 2020-111 Douglas 

Representative Bruce was alleged to have passed out snacks inside the 150 ft area wearing campaign attire 

Bruce did not believe this was a violation as he was running unopposed and the wait was 7 hours 

Mashburn motion to send to AG 

PASSED 

Case 2020-126 Houston 

Restaurant alleged to have provided compensation to voters by establishing a raffle with gift basket reward for those who registered to vote 

Owner initially denied this occurred but then confirmed 

Recommendation-refer to AG 

PASSED 

Case 2020-131 Bacon 

Vote refused to take of TRUMP hat 

Voter saw no signage the hat could not be worn and felt poll worker yelled at him from across the room 

Recommendation-Letter of Instruction 

David Woorley stated he was concerned with past decisions but it was determined in other cases the hats were removed when requested 

Matt Mashburn stated he was disturbed by behavior at the polls 

PASSED 

Case 2020-137 Cobb

Voter resides at 2 locations and was alleged to have voted in wrong county

Voter and attorney commented there was an oversight on voters part for which he apologized and that there was no malicious intent or attempt to vote twice

Matt Mashburn motion to send Letter of Instruction to voter and refer other party to AG

PASSED 2-1 with Woorley voting NO


1 PM – 3 PM – Marcia Brown-Thompson

SEB -Case No. 2020-156 (Stephens County)-multiple complaints 

  1. Failed to issue absentee ballots
  2. Unlawful collection of ballots (individuals that were not authorized were allowed to transport ballots)
  3. Worker allegedly took a picture of her ballot and posted it on facebook.  She stated that she misled her social media friends and did not actually take a picture.  She stated that their was mistrust in the community and she was making a suggestion to take a picture as proof but lied and said that she actually did but never posted a picture of her ballot.  

Sent to the Attorney General’s Office 

SEB Case No. 2020-158-Fulton County ) Equipment Accessibility

Fulton County did not have sufficient equipment that was openly accessible for vision and hearing impaired voters to use.  Voters had to wait hours to vote and was sent to another location to vote.  County officials stated the equipment was present by staff was not aware and it impacted 3 people.  The county states that training has been provided and requested a letter of correction.  Board member agreed to letter but wanted to also include a fine of $250 but it was sent to the AG’s office for review.  

SEB Case No. 2020-191

Voter accused of voting twice once in GA and another state where she attends college.  Voter confirmed that she is a legal resident of GA and did not send the second ballot in the other state in to be counted.  

Letter of instruction will be sent

SEB Case No. 2020-175- DeKalb County

DeKalb county is said to have reactivated deceased voters registration and Driver’s Licenses

Bound over to the AG’s Office

SEB Case No. 2020-181- Ben Hill

Ben Hill County failed to hold a run-off election.  Election workers stated she consulted with School Board members that advised her that a runoff was not necessary.  After an investigation, it was found that an election run-off should have happened so it was held months later.  This case was sent over to the AG’s office. 

9 AM – 11 AM – Opal Baker 

Rebecca Sullivan, Vice Chair, served as acting Chair.

General Counsel of the SOS office, Ryan Germany, gave an overview of the work being done to implement SB202:

1. New AB application form and envelope are needed; will be checking with other states to see what types of envelopes they use to ensure security through the mail. 

2. Looking into what kinds of instructions will be required to include with ABs.

3. New rules and updates to existing rules have to be made based on SB202 requirements; want to complete soon since SB202 goes in effect of July 1, 2021. Use the existing rules working group that was already working on changes based on HB 316 and updating voting system. The working group would include SOS staff, SEB members, Richmond County election board superintendent. Wants to have the new rules completed and posted by summer before November municipal election cycle.

4. No board members objected to any portion German’s update.

Investigation Reports-Consent Cases

1. Rebecca Sullivan pulled out 2 cases she felt required further discussion: 2020-257 & 2020-289; David Worley pulled out 2 additional cases: 2020-220 & 2020-283; Ahn Lee recused herself from 2020-105.

    a. 2020-220 Cobb County (AB Fraud)-“someone” complained that 2 women living in Canada and 1 man living in New York were committing voter fraud by voting in Georgia. Investigation shows that the 2 women in Canada maintain their US citizenship and are eligible to vote in Georgia. The man in New York is a resident of Georgia going to medical school in New York and is eligible to vote in Georgia. The man, Semeet Bau (?) spoke to the board confirming that he is a resident of Georgia and fully intends to return after his training. The complainant was present on zoom, but did not come off mute to comment. Someone commented that the complainant didn’t know any of the people accused and got the “evidence” of fraud off social media. Worley moved to dismiss; someone second; no discussion; motion to dismiss passed.

   b. 2020-257 Cobb County (AB Signature Verification)-essentially SOS announced signature audit of AB in Cobb County; SOS investigator and GBS investigators reviewed a sample of 396 AB from November 2020 general election; 10 of the 396 had to be cured, 386 were deemed valid. 2 of the 10 should have been properly identified by Cobb County elections staff as requiring voter attention before accepting the ballot, but nothing fraudulent was identified during the audit. Recommended the motion be dismissed. Worley motioned to dismiss; someone 2nd; motion passed. Mashburn spoke on the time and expense of conducting ballot audits and that there was still no evidence of massive fraud in Georgia elections.

   c. 2020-283 Newton County (Tabulations)-cases of alleged ballot harvesting. Matthew Douglas of (Conyers?), Georgia complained that time posted on county election board Facebook page for ballot counting was not the same when he showed up at the location, both front doors were locked. He called the Newton County Board of Elections office and spoke to someone named Carl who stated that the counting had ended at midnight the night before and only election ballot processing was occurring that day; absentee ballots were being signature matched. Another person, James (?) of Oxford Georgia complained that approximately a week before the 2020 general election, he witnessed ballot harvesting; he saw an individual delivered 20 to 30 absentee ballots to the Newton County the courthouse and that a deputy on duty was helping. The investigation into these cases showed that 1) audits/counting were conducted during posted time, except when it was finished early. Officials from both parties were notified of this by election board chair and 2) security cameras were review and the witness saw elections staff removing ballots from the drop box for processing in the elections office. The investigation could not substantiate any election code violations. It was recommended that the case be dismissed; so motioned (could not hear who motioned or who second); motion passed.

    d. 2020-289 Cobb County (Destruction of Ballots)-a video uploaded to YouTube alleging that Cobb County was shredding ballots. This involves a shredder truck from Dominion Voting Systems. Preliminary investigations involving the county supervisor, Georgia SOS, GBI and Homeland Security. The initial complainant says that he had no first-hand knowledge of the incident, but saw it on YouTube. 2 other complainants, Susan Knox and Sally Grubbs, were also interviewed. Investigators received a notarized declaration and affidavit from Susan Knox. Sally Grubbs said that she was already interviewed by the SOS office and wasn’t interested in being interviewed again, unless they could guarantee that they wouldn’t waste her time. Susan Knox said that she saw the trucks destroying the ballots where election certification was taking. The investigation showed that the items that were being shredded were empty envelopes, training materials, paper print-outs and other non-relevant materials. Recommended that the case be dismissed. 2 of the complainant made public comments–Susan Knox and Sally Grubbs. A fair amount of back-and-forth between Ms. Knox and Mr. Mashburn regarding the thoroughness of the investigation with Ms. Knox insisting that ballots were shredded and Mr. Mashburn stating that there were only empty ballots and he is satisfied with the investigation and spoke about “without prejudice.” Mashburn motioned that the case be dismissed; it was seconded; motioned passed.

2020-289 Cobb County (Destruction of Ballots)-Susan Knox stated that she was never informed that the FBI conducted an investigation and, basically, doesn’t believe that a serious investigation took place. Says she conducted open record requests and got no information. Demanded a full investigation and evidence of such. Washburn stated that he reviewed her case and a thorough investigation was done and asked if she had new evidence. Knox stated that she had additional photos, then began to speak out against the board. She was asked by chairperson Sullivan to maintain decorum and professionalism.

Mr. Worley spoke for 5 minutes on the record of his concern about the passing of SB202, particularly the parts of it that strips the SOS of membership from the SEB and giving the SEB the power to dismiss local & county board personnel. (see transcript 9:13:18 – 9:18:46)


11 AM – 1 PM – Alan Kaufman


1 PM – 3 PM – Marcia Brown-Thompson

SEB -Case No. 2020-156 (Stephens County)-multiple complaints 

  1. Failed to issue absentee ballots
  2. Unlawful collection of ballots (individuals that were not authorized were allowed to transport ballots)
  3. Worker allegedly took a picture of her ballot and posted it on facebook.  She stated that she misled her social media friends and did not actually take a picture.  She stated that their was mistrust in the community and she was making a suggestion to take a picture as proof but lied and said that she actually did but never posted a picture of her ballot.  

Sent to the Attorney General’s Office 

SEB Case No. 2020-158-Fulton County ) Equipment Accessibility

Fulton County did not have sufficient equipment that was openly accessible for vision and hearing impaired voters to use.  Voters had to wait hours to vote and was sent to another location to vote.  County officials stated the equipment was present by staff was not aware and it impacted 3 people.  The county states that training has been provided and requested a letter of correction.  Board member agreed to letter but wanted to also include a fine of $250 but it was sent to the AG’s office for review.  

SEB Case No. 2020-191

Voter accused of voting twice once in GA and another state where she attends college.  Voter confirmed that she is a legal resident of GA and did not send the second ballot in the other state in to be counted.  

Letter of instruction will be sent

SEB Case No. 2020-175- DeKalb County

DeKalb county is said to have reactivated deceased voters registration and Driver’s Licenses

Bound over to the AG’s Office

SEB Case No. 2020-181- Ben Hill

Ben Hill County failed to hold a run-off election.  Election workers stated she consulted with School Board members that advised her that a runoff was not necessary.  After an investigation, it was found that an election run-off should have happened so it was held months later.  This case was sent over to the AG’s office. 


Did you know that the public can attend Board of Registration and Elections meetings? 

These meetings are open to the public by Georgia law. Georgia Open Meetings Act.

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