ALPHARETTA, Ga – Former Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle hosted his Secretary of State campaign kick-off on Monday, March 22 at Alpharetta City Park and called out Raffensperger’s elections procedures.
Trump supporter State Senator Brandon Beach (R – Alpharetta) introduced the candidate. Beach spoke about until after the November election his cell phone seldomly rang and everyone who called asked about election reform.
“The reason I’m supporting David is I know he’s a man of character, integrity, and he’s smart and that matters. He would not have entered into an agreement that really made two sets of rules for voting in person and absentee ballots,” Beach said.
He wants Georgia to take the path of Florida concerning reform and have the 2022 results in by the 11 p.m. news. Belle Isle promised Beach that he would make that happen.
Belle Isle spoke about how it’s tough to be a conservative, and many feel attacked either by the media, corporate America, or big tech.
“Most people raise their families and most people live applying conservative values and conservative principles whether they know it or not,” the candidate remarked. “The entire purpose of the Republican Party is to bring human flourishing within the reach of every American, within the reach of every Georgian. We do this by opening the widest door possible.”
He directly leveled the blame for the November elections at Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R). Speaking to election integrity, he stated that every vote must be validated.
“The disaster that was the 2020 election was not something that happened to Brad Raffensperger. It was something that happened through Brad Raffensperger,” Belle Isle commented. He then listed the actions Raffensperger took leading up to the 2020 primary and general elections.
The list included signing the compromise settlement agreement with Fair Fight Georgia and Stacy Abrams, the mass mailing absentee ballot applications before the primary, drop boxes, and allowing signature verification only for absentee ballots.
Belle Isle added that he’s not “here to say one way or another” if the election was stolen, but what happened in Georgia was worse than that – “an election that can neither be proved fraudulent or fair.” The Secretary of State’s Office did conduct three recounts that all resulted in the same outcome.
Later, the former mayor stated he was in favor of removing no excuse absentee ballots, but understands it’s an uphill battle.
According to Belle Isle, the settlement agreement “made it difficult for counties to efficiently reject an invalid mail-in ballot” and it took three people to reject a mail-in ballot. The rejection rate dropped from three percent to practically zero percent.
Citing the Senate runoff, he commented how thousands stayed home because they lost confidence in the system. Typically, turnout does drop if a Presidential election isn’t on the ballot.
Belle Isle believes he’s the best man for the job with a focus on restoring voter integrity as the backbone of his campaign.
“The Secretary of State needs to be hands-on. The Secretary of State needs to be in that office on a daily basis. I mean looking at the election process from top to bottom. A lot of what’s been happening here is essentially someone governing from afar, leading from afar, and handing it off to his lieutenants,” Belle Isle stated about Raffensperger’s handling of the Secretary of State’s Office.
Congressman Jody Hice also entered the Secretary of State race on Monday.
Towns County, Ga. – Rebecca Yardley, Chairwoman for the 9 District Republican Party, addressed the 2020 election, possible voter fraud, and 2022 candidates at Thursday’s Towns County Republican Party meeting.
In a mostly packed room of supporters, Yardley started the evening by addressing voter fraud concerns brought forth by the State Executive Committee of the Georgia Republican Party after losing the presidential race and two senate seats late last year. Since that point, Republicans have been eager to find solutions and avoid a repeat in the future. Consequently, the Georgia Republican Party created the Election Confidence Task Force.
“We know that the mainstream media would tell us that there was no fraud. I’m not going to stand here and tell you that,” proclaimed Yardley. “I know first hand that there was fraud.”
Spearheaded by Atlanta attorney Brad Carver, the task force published its recommendations on Wednesday, February 17. The ten-page, nonbinding report is the Georgia Republican Party’s blueprint to state lawmakers as they look to craft election integrity policy for the remaining days of the legislative session.
“We as grassroots activists have got to spend the remainder of this legislative session ensuring that we are staying on top of our legislators to get some election integrity enacted in the Georgia legislature, said Yardley. “I’m proud to say that your Georgia Republican Party is leading the way on that.”
Here are some of the recommendations from the task force:
- Requiring photo ID verification for all absentee ballot applications and ballots.
- Allowing videotaping of all election activity except voters casting their ballots.
- Eliminating third-party and government solicitation of absentee ballot applications.
- Replacing all Dominion software with auditable and transparent software.
- Prohibiting so-called mobile voting locations, except in the case of a natural disaster.
See the entire report here.
It’s worth noting that Republican leadership wasted no time tackling this session’s voter integrity issues. Speaker David Ralston (R – Blue Ridge) echoed this message in a pre-session press conference where he announced the creation of a Special Committee of Election Integrity. The house committee has been consistently meeting while debating many of the exact solutions that the Election Confidence Task Force outlined in its report.
While Yardley spent a majority of her time talking about the Election Confidence Task Force, it was her comment about current Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger that sent the room into applause.
“…It may get me in trouble with the Georgia Republican Party, but I’ll take those licks and keep on ticking. Ladies and gentlemen, this district chair ain’t backing Brad Raffensperger,” said Yardley.
However, Yardley wasn’t done giving the room something else to cheer about. As an outspoken supporter of Doug Collins, she also weighed in on the Senate and Governor’s race.
“They [AJC] posted a great article about a friend of mine today. So if you know Doug Collins; if you like Doug Collins; or if you’re like my family and you love Doug Collins, you know that he’s looking at running either in 2022 for the Senate seat or to be the next Governor of the great state of Georgia.”
ATLANTA, Ga – Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston announced intentions to change the way Georgia selects a Secretary of State. He favors placing the power with the legislature.
Ralston will ask the Governmental Affairs Committee to craft a constitutional amendment that changes the Secretary of State to an appointed position. The bill would need to be passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governor. Currently, Georgia citizens elect the Secretary of State.
“I think it’s time in Georgia that we look an alternative way of electing a Secretary of State. There’s more than one option as an alternative. Frankly, I like the option of having the General Assembly elect that individual for a set term,” Ralston commented.
The Secretaries of State of Tennessee, Maine, and New Hampshire are all elected by their respective state legislatures.
“I feel like it’s the only way to right this ship. I don’t do this lightly or disrespectfully to the incumbent who I have high personal regard for. I do this because we have a job to do as members of the house and members of the senate,” Ralston finished.
The move comes after several weeks of questions, concerns, and Republican in-fighting over the November 3 elections. One concern that several elected Republicans in Georgia take issue with is the consent decree signed by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Governor Brian Kemp without informing the General Assembly until afterward.
If the bill becomes law, a Secretary of State couldn’t enter into a consent decree without first consulting the legislature.
It would also remove power from the hands of the voter and place it with the General Assembly. Ralston argued that the people are feeling “excluded” by the Secretary of State’s Office.
If the bill passed the House and Senate, then it would land on the governor’s desk. Kemp has supported Raffensperger through much of the post-election disputes, aside from calling for future reforms. At this point, it’s unlikely he would sign the bill.
This isn’t the first time Ralston and Raffensberger didn’t see eye-to-eye. Before the June primary, Ralston expressed disapproval in the Secretary of State’s plan to send all Georgians an absentee ballot application. Some reports suggest that these applications carried over through the General Election.
The House’s Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing concerning election irregularities today. They invited the Secretary of State Raffensperger and team. Last night, the Secretary of State’s Office informed the committee that they declined to attend the hearing. The committee wanted to speak with the Secretary of State about potential improvements that could be made to the system. Ralston ensured that the Secretary of State knew it would be a “fact-finding” and “non-adversarial” meeting.
“I’m completely shocked. I’m disappointed. I don’t ever remember in my time serving in this Assembly, a Constitutional Officer refusing to come before a House or a Senate Committee to offer up information that might be helpful to the people’s representatives,” Ralston remarked. “The people of Georgia are wanting answers out of their representatives.”
He believed Georgia’s representatives are entitled to a question-and-answer session with the Secretary of State’s Office.
The Secretary of State’s Office did hold a 3 p.m. press conference to debunk more voter fraud claims.
“Today we have yet another example of a Constitutional Officer who has chosen to be on his own and disregard input from the people who he looks to for his budget and to consider legislative changes to his office,” Ralston added.
Video footage courtesy of 11Alive.