The State Election Board held its first meeting Wednesday since Republican lawmakers in the General Assembly removed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s voting powers on the board.

ATLANTA — Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has referred Coffee, Grady and Taylor Counties for investigation after those counties failed to do their absentee ballot transfer forms in violation of Georgia Rules and Regulations. The office of the secretary of state has confirmed with the other 120 counties that had absentee ballot drop boxes in November that they completed ballot transfer documents.

“Since Day 1, I have made securing Georgia’s election a top priority and I have not stopped working since then,” Raffensperger said in a news release. “Though the overwhelming majority of counties did what they were supposed to, this demonstrates that new steps need to be taken to fully secure our elections. Securing elections is work that is never truly finished.”

Absentee ballot drop boxes were allowed by emergency rule of the State Election Board to address the absentee ballot voting surge caused by COVID-19. The emergency rule required counties with drop boxes to fill out ballot transfer forms that included the date, time, location and number of ballots in the drop boxes whenever election officials collected ballots from the drop box.

In total, 123 counties had absentee ballot drop boxes for the November election. Of those, 120 have confirmed they filled out and retained ballot transfer forms in accordance with Georgia rules. Elections officials in Coffee, Grady and Taylor counties said they had not filled out the forms as required. The three counties account for only 0.37% of all the absentee ballots cast in the November election.

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