Jody Hice, running to oversee Georgia elections, makes yet more false 2020 claims

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Washington (CNN)At a Monday debate betwixt the Republican candidates for Georgia caput of state, incumbent Brad Raffensperger said his starring opponent, US Rep. Jody Hice, "has conscionable not been honorable for the past 18 months, and helium has been spreading misinformation, disinformation."

Fact check: true.

Hice, who has been endorsed by erstwhile President Donald Trump, has centered his run connected false claims astir the 2020 predetermination -- including the claim that Trump would person won Georgia if the predetermination had been "fair." And Hice has repeatedly made mendacious claims astir Raffensperger's actions arsenic Georgia's elections chief.

    Here is simply a information cheque of immoderate of the things Hice said astatine the Monday debate. Hice's run didn't respond to a CNN petition for comment.

      Ballot harvesting

      Hice said to Raffensperger: "You created ballot harvesting successful Georgia." He repeated later: "Ballot harvesting was created, successful the authorities of Georgia, due to the fact that of Brad Raffensperger."

      Facts First: Hice's assertion is false. Raffensperger did not make ballot harvesting successful Georgia. In fact, little than 3 months aft Raffensperger became caput of authorities successful 2019, Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law that outlawed ballot harvesting successful Georgia.

        "Ballot harvesting" tin beryllium described much neutrally arsenic "ballot collection." In general, the operation refers to the signifier of organizations oregon activists collecting voters' completed absentee ballots and submitting them for counting -- alternatively than voters sending successful their ballots themselves oregon getting a household subordinate oregon person to taxable them.

        The 2019 law gave Georgia voters 2 basal options: "personally" message successful oregon present their absentee ballots, oregon person the ballots mailed successful oregon delivered by idiosyncratic they unrecorded with oregon by a household member. In different words, the instrumentality prohibited third-party groups from collecting and submitting the ballots of strangers.

        It's astatine slightest imaginable that determination was immoderate ballot harvesting successful Georgia successful the 2020 election; Raffensperger's bureau is investigating harvesting allegations made by a right-wing group. But adjacent if amerciable harvesting did happen, that wouldn't mean Raffensperger "created ballot harvesting successful Georgia." (It besides wouldn't mean the existent ballots delivered by ballot collectors were fraudulent oregon invalid.)

        Raffensperger and Stacey Abrams, Part 1

        Hice claimed that Raffensperger "was making deals with Stacey Abrams" -- the Democratic gubernatorial campaigner and erstwhile authorities House number person -- "and opened wide the doorway for predetermination fraud successful this authorities successful each way." Hice referred to Raffensperger's expected "deal" with Abrams astatine different moments of the statement arsenic well.

        Facts First: Hice's claims are false. Raffensperger did not marque a woody with Abrams. If Hice was referring, arsenic helium has successful the past, to a March 2020 legal settlement betwixt Raffensperger and Democratic Party entities astir the state's signature verification process for absentee voters, Abrams was not involved successful that statement -- arsenic 1 of the statement panelists, Atlanta Journal-Constitution newsman Mark Niesse, pointed retired to Hice. And determination is no ground for the assertion that this ineligible colony oregon thing other Raffensperger did "opened wide the doorway for predetermination fraud successful this authorities successful each way."

        Claim aft assertion astir expected large predetermination fraud successful Georgia successful 2020 has been debunked. It's imaginable that a smattering of Georgia ballots were fraudulent, but determination is nary grounds of elector fraud adjacent adjacent to wide capable to person changed the result successful a authorities Joe Biden won by 11,779 votes.

        And determination is nary grounds that the 2020 colony statement astir signature verification led to immoderate wide fraud. A signature audit of a illustration of much than 15,000 absentee ballot envelopes successful Cobb County, a large Atlanta-area region won by Biden, recovered zero fraudulent ballots.

        Signature verification

        When statement panelist Niesse pressed Hice to explicate however the colony statement supposedly weakened absentee ballot verification, Hice insisted, "Well, it did weaken the signature verification. It made it overmuch much hard for it to instrumentality place. You had to yet notify the elector themselves."

        Facts First: This is misleading. Even earlier the colony agreement, the elections instrumentality passed by Georgia Republicans successful 2019 had required counties to "promptly" notify voters of problems that were astir to get their ballots tossed out, specified arsenic missing oregon nonmatching signatures, and springiness the voters a accidental to close these issues. The colony statement set retired specific deadlines for notifying the voters, alternatively of relying connected the vague connection "promptly," and laid retired the methods by which the notifications had to beryllium done.

        As Niesse noted to Hice, the percent of absentee ballots rejected implicit signature problems successful the 2020 wide election, aft the colony agreement, was nearly identical to the complaint successful the 2018 midterm election, earlier the colony agreement.

        Raffensperger and Stacey Abrams, Part 2

        Hice decried Raffensperger's determination to nonstop an absentee ballot petition signifier to each of Georgia's progressive registered voters during the 2020 enactment primaries. (Raffensperger, similar officials successful different states, sent retired these forms because of the Covid-19 pandemic. He did not nonstop retired unsolicited ballot petition forms during the 2020 wide election.)

        Hice said, "We had a league call, the Georgia delegation, with Brad, urging him, urging him not to nonstop retired absentee ballot requests to everyone connected our elector registration file. He did it anyways. In fact, the woody was already made with Stacey Abrams earlier that telephone ever took place."

        Facts First: This is false. Again, Raffensperger did not marque a woody with Abrams. And Raffensperger's colony statement with the Democratic Party entities had thing to bash with his determination to message retired the absentee ballot petition forms during the primaries. In fact, the colony statement did not accidental thing astir who should beryllium sent a ballot petition form. The statement was astir the signature-matching process successful particular.

        Abrams run spokesperson Seth Bringman said Monday that Abrams was among the voting rights advocates who urged Raffensperger to nonstop ballot petition forms to Georgia voters of each ages alternatively than conscionable older voters, arsenic an Atlanta Journal-Constitution study successful March 2020 had said Raffensperger was initially planning. But the Raffensperger run said Abrams had nary engagement successful oregon power connected Raffensperger's decision, made nationalist astir a week aft that quality report, to nonstop ballot petition forms to voters of each ages; Raffensperger run spokesperson Lance Dutson said Raffensperger's bureau "pushed backmost connected Stacey Abrams and her wide allies" connected assorted proposals, arsenic Abrams-founded radical Fair Fight Action noted successful tweets criticizing Raffensperger astatine the time.

        Regardless, determination is zero denotation that determination was immoderate benignant of "deal" betwixt Raffensperger and Abrams astir this Raffensperger decision.

        Absentee voting and elector identification

          Hice said that Raffensperger had opened the doorway to changes that harm "election integrity," including "sending retired absentee ballot requests, having virtually nary elector recognition associated with these." Hice added, "Those are the things that truly indispensable beryllium corrected that person not been dealt with nether this existent enactment of Brad Raffensperger."

          Facts First: It's not existent that Georgia hasn't "corrected" the contented of requiring elector recognition for absentee voting oregon the contented of the caput of authorities sending retired absentee ballot petition forms. In 2021, Kemp signed a law that required absentee voters to supply a kind of identification different than conscionable their signature and that banned governments and authorities officials from sending retired unsolicited absentee ballot petition forms. In addition, Raffensperger wasn't the crushed that recognition different than a signature was not antecedently required for applications to ballot by mail. State law, not Raffensperger policy, had specified that lone a signature was required.

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