Friday, January 15, 2021 by Arsenio Toledo
Two poll workers in Georgia who became whistleblowers after raising concerns regarding election irregularities were informed this week that their contracts were not going to be renewed despite the decades they have put into working for the state.
Bridget Thorne and Susan Voyles spoke up about witnessing “abnormal actions” taken by other officials during the election in Fulton County, which includes most of Atlanta. (Related: Georgia recount: Biden “accidentally” given an extra 9,626 votes in DeKalb County.)
Voyles, who has been working in elections for 20 years, said in her signed affidavit and subsequent testimony in front of the State Legislature that she found a batch filled with “pristine” ballots that were all marked exactly the same way. Ninety-eight percent of those ballots voted for Democratic nominee Joe Biden. She said that she had never in all her experience ever seen a whole host of ballots that were made in such a uniform, almost mechanical fashion.
Thorne, who worked as a voting technician, claimed that ballots were not being handled properly at the State Farm Arena, which served as a vote tabulation center.
“When they came in from the warehouse, they were haphazardly treated by anybody who wanted to dump the ballots out of the scanner tabulators,” she said. “There weren’t two people present. People were just dumping them in suitcases and then leaving the suitcases on the floor.”
Dwight Bower, an election consultant for the Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections informed Thorne and Voyles that, according to Georgia law, they have to be reappointed as poll managers for each election event. The department has the power to choose to appoint new poll managers.
“There are many factors (management skills, performance, actions, behavior, etc.) considered prior to making reappointments for each primary or election,” wrote Brower. “Unfortunately, a decision has been made to not reappoint you in a poll management or other poll position in Fulton County.”
During an interview with NTD TV, Voyles lamented the decision, saying that there is no doubt that it because she became a whistleblower.
“I see it as a direct consequence of my being honest. In that oath, we say that ‘I will, to the best of my abilities, make sure there is no fraud, deceit’ – it kind of goes on down like this. So I saw what I was doing was an extension of my job as a poll manager. In other words, I had seen fraud, I had seen deceit, I had seen the things that in our poll reading we were warned to stay away from and to report if we see them. I did, and in this case, at this point, the truth was not received well.”
Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Secretary of State, has criticized the firing of Voyles and Thorne.
“I condemn in the strongest terms the decision by Fulton County election officials to fire two poll managers purely for raising concerns about the November elections,” said Raffensperger on Friday, Dec. 18.
“Though we have found no credible evidence of widespread fraud, it is important that individuals can raise their voice when they believe they have seen wrongdoing,” he added. “Retribution against whistleblowers poses a threat to the continued strength and vibrancy of our democracy.”
Georgia officials like Raffensperger have insisted that the election was run smoothly despite the fact that multiple lawsuits have been filed alleging ballot tampering and voter and election fraud.
In response to Raffensperger’s statement and other previous criticisms of the way Fulton County handled their election, the county’s Board of Commissioners Chairman Rob Pitts told reporters that he isn’t certain why.
“We are the largest county in the state of Georgia. The largest of 159,” said Pitts. “I cannot speak to what the other 158 counties in Georgia are doing, but I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that within Fulton County, there was no hanky panky whatsoever with respect to the recent election. Zero.”
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