Though Thursday’s hearings were more controlled than the often-times rambunctious Michigan hearings Wednesday, they were no less impassioned with one witness becoming visibly upset followed by a student who complained of a fraudulent absentee ballot cast in her name.
Dana Smith appeared about halfway through the Thursday hearing to address several complaints, one involving the temperature of the warehouse where ballot counting machines were stored.
“That morning I had got up and we had been in the low 30’s and I had to use my heated seat in my car and my heater,” Smith told Georgia Senate Oversight Committee.
“Georgia law requires that that electronic equipment be kept in a climate controlled environment,” she continued. “Having it in a freezing cold building all night long does not constitute a climate controlled environment.”
Smith alleged that the machines having been in a cold warehouse could have led to inaccuracies in the vote tallying – suggesting that the cmmittee address the issue by installing temperature alarms prior to the January runoff election.
The former nurse then got visibly upset in describing how ballots were improperly handled and noted that “urine samples” have more oversight than the ballots did.
A Senator on the Oversight Committee then asked why she was bringing her claims forward about ballot counting inaccuracies when President Trump actually won the district by a hefty margin.
“I don’t give a rip who won,” Smith threw back visibly upset. “I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. I don’t care if you’re Mini Mouse,” she said, adding that the system is flawed and everyone should care.
A University of Georgia student Grace Lemon from Fulton County, followed Smith to give testimony, and said that she had been informed that an absentee ballot was submitted in her name, despite her having voted in person.
“I’ve never requested one, I never vote absentee, I always go vote in person. And I had to sign an affidavit saying I did not request an absentee ballot,” Lemon said.
Lemon told the Committee that she voted in person on Oct. 23, but then on Nov. 7 was told that someone had submitted an absentee ballot in her name.
She said that even after a number of attempts to contact the Secretary of State’s office, she still was unsure whether or not her ballot was even counted.
Committee members vowed to help her get to the bottom of the issue. But hers was not the only testimony critical of the Secretary of State.
Mark Amick, a poll watcher in Milton, Ga., complained about a lack of fair ballot oversight and said he observed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger acting in a way he thought was unengaged from the process.
“I wouldn’t even go as far as saying mildly engaged,” he said.
The Georgia Senate Judicial Committee also held a hearing Thursday to address the state’s voting laws following the November presidential election, where President-elect Joe Biden defeated Trump in a surprising win, obtaining 12,500 more votes than the president in a state that hasn’t been won by a Democrat running for president since 1992.
A constitutional law professor said that he believed the election was fraudulent even though the courts, backed by Attorney General Bill Barr, have repeatedly said there is no proof of widespread voter or election fraud.
The hearing remained fairly tame in comparison to others, but it took a turn when Tony Bernson said he came today to urge the committee to address “impoverished cities being manipulated by identity politics,” adding that if the Senate does not address this issue, they leave room for “terrorist activities” to take over an election.
Giuliani spoke at the conclusion of Bernson’s testimony and said this was “the most courteous hearing he’s seen.”
“There’s more than ample evidence to conclude that this election was a sham,” Trump’s attorney claimed. “It was an embarrassment to the citizens of the state, and it’s not the only one.”
Having had enough of the hearing, Sen. Elena Parent called the proceedings an “Alice in Wonderland” moment and seemingly frustrated said, “Some people have filed affidavits not understanding that there is a duplication process when ballots can’t be scanned, when they’re torn, when they’re UOCAVA [Uniformed and Overseas Citizens and Absentee Voting Act].”
“We changed the law,” Parent said. “After the 2018 election we changed the law to allow the opportunity to cure [ballots].”