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Fannin County, Georgia

Asking the Experts about the 2020 Election, by Susan Loring, Part 3

The next topics discussed with Fannin County Election Board Chairman Sonia Smith and Vice Chair Mary Ann Conner were:

Questionable donations to “help” with the election – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly poured large amounts of money into Georgia, most of it through the nonprofit organization Center for Technology and Civic Life, which was distributed as grants to county and city election officials. $31 million went to Georgia for the 2020 election, and an additional $14.5 million for the 2021 Senate runoff, the majority to Fulton, Dekalb, Gwinnett, and Cobb Counties. The money was supposed to be for COVID-related expenses.

I asked Mary Ann if she had any knowledge of where the money went. She told me that no money had come to Fannin County, but an Open Records Request could be made to the counties receiving the money to find out how the grants were spent.

Missing drop box transfer forms in Fulton County – Georgia Star News made an Open Records Request to Fulton County for their drop box transfer forms. These transfer forms document the chain of custody of absentee ballots placed by voters into 37 drop boxes installed throughout Fulton County over the 41-day 2020 presidential election period that began on September 24 and ended on November 3, election day. A Fulton County election official acknowledged that “a few forms are missing”, when 385 out of an estimated 1,565 of the forms Fulton County said should have been provided were not included in the response to the request from Georgia Star News. These missing transfer forms, according to the Fulton County daily count spreadsheet, correspond to 18,901 absentee ballots from drop boxes.

I asked the Chairman and Vice Chairman if there are any consequences for failing to keep complete election records and to maintain chain of custody of ballots. They told me that their election records are required to be retained for 2 years.

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