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DeKalb follows other counties, rejects challenges to the legitimacy of thousands of voters

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DeKalb follows other counties, rejects challenges to the legitimacy of thousands of voters

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Amy Herr holds a sign during a ‘Get out the Vote’ rally hosted by the Avondale Alliance for Racial Justice at the ArtLot in Avondale Estates on September 19, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.


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By Logan C. Ritchie, contributor 

DeKalb County, GA —The DeKalb County Board of Voter Registration and Elections today voted to reject three voter challenges that questioned the legitimacy of 50,000 voters in the county.

Gwinnett, Cobb and Fulton counties also voted to reject challenges in the last week. True the Vote, a conservative vote-monitoring organization based in Texas, challenged the legitimacy of voters in every county across Georgia. According to the AJC, 4,000 voters in Muscogee County will have to prove their eligibility to vote because of True the Vote’s voter challenge.

In a special called meeting Dec. 22, board chair Sam Tillman said he would not be surprised if more voter challenges were presented this week.

Assistant County Attorney Irene Vander Els advised the Elections Board to reject the voter challenges based on lack of probable cause. She also cited poor timing because absentee voting began last week for the Jan. 5 Senate runoff.

Els said assuming that data provided by challengers is accurate, “The data itself does not provide probable cause regarding the right to vote in our opinion. That’s because change of address information is often used for temporary purposes, such as someone going off to college, joining the military, moving out of the state for a temporary work assignment, moving out of county or state to care for a relative.”

The Elections Board voted unanimously to reject voter challenges from former Brookhaven mayor J. Max Davis for 15,391 voters, and Douglas Hartman for 31,346 voters. Anthony Lewis was the only Elections Board member to vote against the rejection of Marci McCarthy’s challenge of 4,113 voters. McCarthy was a 2020 delegate at the Republican National Convention, and sat on the Voter Review Panel for DeKalb GOP in June, August and November 2020.

In other news:

– Board member Dele Lowman Smith said voters are not receiving prompt confirmation after submitting absentee ballots.

“I’d love to know what our goal is, in terms of acknowledging that and getting it updating in the system so that voters know what to expect,” Lowman Smith said.

– Deputy county attorney Viviane Ernstes read into the record letters for public comment. It was the first time since June letters have been available to the public.

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