Vernon Jones, Republican Gubernatorial Candidate, has filed a complaint with Georgia’s Secretary of State office requesting an investigation regarding a possible violation of the rules of the State Election Board.
Jones stated in a news release that the alleged violation involves DeKalb County’s placement of an absentee dropbox on privately-owned property during the 2020 general election and the 2021 runoffs. The drop box location in question is The Sterling at Candler, 2536 Mellville Ave., Decatur.cJones said the drop box location was advertised, listed, and used in violation of the state election laws, which stipulate that drop boxes shall only be located on county or municipal government property generally accessible to the public (Rule 183-1-14-0.6-.14).
“This is more evidence that Gubernatorial Candidates, Stacey Abrams, her cohort Brian Kemp, and others are not interested in election integrity. I will always be a fighter and protector of election integrity and voters’ rights,” Jones stated in the press release.
In addition, Jones said, there is a possible violation involving the destruction of drop box video footage in Cobb County prior to the 22-month minimum retention period required by federal law.
Below are the Rules of the State Election Board Regarding Absentee Ballot Drop Off Boxes and links to the codes regarding where a ballot dropbox may be located:
183-1-14-0.6-.14 Secure Absentee Ballot Drop Boxes
RULE 183-1-14-0.6-.14 Secure Absentee Ballot Drop Boxes
(1) For the Elections held on June 9, 2020, County registrars are authorized to establish one or more drop box locations as a means for absentee by mail electors to deliver their ballots to the county registrars. Placing a voted absentee ballot into the drop box shall be deemed delivery pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 21-2-385 and is subject to the limitations on who may deliver a ballot on behalf of an elector.
(2) A drop box shall only be located on county or municipal government property generally accessible to the public.
(3) Drop box locations may open beginning 49 days before Election Day and shall close at 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. On Election Day, every drop box shall be closed and ballots collected at 7:00 p.m. Counties shall provide notice of the location of each drop box by posting such information on the home page of the county election website no later than the day the drop boxes are placed in a location.
(4) Drop box locations must have adequate lighting and use a video recording device to monitor each drop box location. The video recording device must either continuously record the drop box location or use motion detection that records one frame, or more, per minute until detection of motion triggers continuous recording.
(5) Video recordings of the drop box locations must be retained by the county registrars for 30 days after the final certification of the election, or until conclusion of any contest involving an election on the ballot in the county jurisdiction, whichever is later, and shall be made available to Secretary of State investigators upon request.
(6) A drop box shall be constructed of durable material able to withstand vandalism and inclement weather. The opening slot of a drop box shall not allow ballots to be tampered with or removed and shall be designed to minimize the ability for liquid to be poured into the drop box or rain water to seep in.
(7) A drop box shall be securely fastened to the ground or an immovable fixture.
(8) If the drop box utilizes a drop-slot into a building, the ballots must drop into a locked container, and both the drop-slot and the container must be monitored by video recording devices.
(9) A drop box shall be clearly labeled “OFFICIAL ABSENTEE BALLOT DROP BOX”. Each drop box location shall clearly display signage developed by the Secretary of State regarding Georgia law related to absentee ballot harvesting and destroying, defacing, or delaying delivery of ballots.
(10) The county registrars must arrange for collection of the ballots from each drop box location at least once every 24 hours. On Election Day, every drop box shall be closed and ballots collected at 7:00 p.m. Collection of ballots from a drop box must be made by a team of at least two people. Any person collecting ballots from a drop box must have sworn an oath in the same form as the oath for poll officers set forth in O.C.G.A. § 21-2-95. The collection team shall complete and sign a ballot transfer form upon removing the ballots from the drop box, which shall include the date, time, location and number of ballots. The ballots from the drop box shall be immediately transported to the county registrar and processed and stored in the same manner as absentee ballots returned by mail are processed and stored. The county registrar or a designee thereof shall sign the ballot transfer form upon receipt of the ballots from the collection team.
Authority: O.C.G.A. § 21-2-3