Susan Voyles was a polling manager with 20 year’s experience handling ballots when she participated in Fulton County’s November 2020 hand recount audit at the Georgia World Congress Center of the votes cast in the presidential election. She was going through a box of absentee ballot batches when she came to a batch that stood out from all the others. The paper felt different, and the ballots were in pristine condition, while the other batches of ballots had worn edges, had been written on by people, and showed obvious use. The strange batch of ballots lacked the folds from being placed in envelopes for mailing out to voters and being returned, and the markings on the ballots for the candidates were unusually uniform. She saw only 2 ballots for Donald Trump in the batch of 110.
Voyles was one of four Fulton County poll monitors who signed affidavits swearing they observed a similar pattern of irregularities in stacks of ballots for Joe Biden. All of them suggested the ballots had been photocopied. These affidavits convinced a state judge to unseal all of the 147,000 mail-in ballots in Fulton County and allow a closer inspection for evidence of counterfeiting. The petitioners were ordered to meet on May 28, 2021 at the warehouse where the ballots are stored, to settle the terms of the inspection of the ballots. The day before the scheduled meeting, Fulton County filed motions to dismiss the case, delaying the inspection indefinitely.
When a fraudulent ballot is counted in an election, its vote for one candidate cancels out a genuine voter’s ballot for the opposing candidate. It’s as if the legitimate vote was never cast. If evidence of potential voter fraud is not investigated, people may start to believe that elections are rigged and that there is no point in participating. One of the provisions of the Election Integrity Act of 2021 is that “ballots shall be printed on security paper that incorporates features which can be used to authenticate the ballot as an official ballot,” and this could help identify and exclude counterfeit ballots from the voting tally. Another provision states that scanned ballot images are public records, which should allow investigators to more easily examine ballot images if there is evidence of possible fraud.