Following a referral from Acting State Election Board Chairman Matthew Mashburn, the Georgia Senate has introduced Senate Bill 358, which would confirm the State Election Board’s power and authority to investigate Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, remove him from the SEB, and order him to cooperate in such investigations.
Mashburn sent the recommendation on Thursday of this week. The reference letter is as follows:
This procedure follows evidence at the most recent State Election Board hearing by citizen election integrity advocate Joseph Rossi and others, who described problems in 2020 election reporting that were traced back to Raffensperger’s office.
These preliminary findings, along with an inability to gain answers from Raffensperger’s office, prompted Rossi to turn over the material to Gov. Brian Kemp’s office, which conducted its own independent investigation and provided a formal conclusion stating that Rossi’s findings were accurate.
During the State Election Board’s December 19th testimony, Rossi also stated that, since the time of Kemp’s report in 2021, investigators, assistant AG Charlene McGowan (who now works in Raffensperger’s office), and even certain members of the State Election Board appeared to have attempted to obstruct investigations or divert attention away from the mounting pile of evidence.
Faced with evidence and a public outcry for inquiries into the Raffensperger’s actions, the SEB voted to request that the legislature affirm the SEB’s jurisdiction to investigate the Secretary of State.
Following receipt of the recommendation, the Senate moved to draft Draft Bill 358, allowing the SEB to commence its inquiry into the SoS.
According to the Georgia Record, some Atlanta media sites sought to minimize the significance of the Senate’s vote, as well as the inaccuracies revealed and verified by the governor’s office as early as late 2021. They make no mention of the actions taken by investigators, Charlene McGowan, and some members of the State Election Board that may indicate a cover-up to protect the SoS office from further scrutiny.
In an email sent August 6, 2023, to then-Chairman of the SEB William Duffey, Charlene McGowan wrote: “Judge Duffey, I understand that you have asked Sarah (SOS Director of Investigations) to open a new case on Mr. Rossi’s complaint against the Secretary of State’s office regarding the posting of the county-level RLA results for the 2020 presidential election… I have instructed our investigations division that this office will not be opening up a case on this complaint… I trust with this information that the Board will inform Mr. Rossi that no case will be opened on this matter.”
Notably, Raffensperger avoided appearance before the Senate Ethics Committee in November, opting instead to attend a “Rotary Meeting” in Sothern Georgia. In his place he sent Charlene McGowan, flanked by a representative of Dominion Voting Systems, to answer questions from the committee, many of which went unanswered or differed.
Thus, encapsulates America’s so-called “democracy” right now.