tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN April 20, 2021 8:11pm-9:13pm EDT
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with these other television providers and giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> next, georgia secretary of state on voting and elections in this virtual event was hosted by the market enterprise institute and it's about one hour. >> good afternoon, i'm a resident scholar at the american enterprise institute and i'm delighted to be here with secretary of state to have a discussion about many things going on in our world of elections. let me lay out a couple of ground rules for how this hour will work. then i will introduce the secretary and then we will jump right into it as we talk about elections and an interesting piece that he wrote recently for national affairs. the ground rules are that we will talk for a while but we will also look for your questions and so if you would like to submit a question can do
so in two ways, one is by e-mailing nicole at aei .org or secondly with twitter # aei election so either way, we are looking for your questions and in the last 15 minutes or so we will try to hear from you and hear what is on your mind. let me introduce secretary raffensperger. he is someone who is well-known to the market people and may be more well-known than you would've expected running for office for the first time and it's a household name given our elections in the last few months but secretary raffensperger started a deal of a successful generic company in georgia and involved in local politics at the local level with the council and then the georgia house of representatives and then background which will feed into his piece where he ran for secretary of state in 2018 and
one both in both the primary and general elections we face a runoff and many americans know about the runoff system now more than they did before the last election and at the same time as that election there was another election going on for governor, former secretary of state brian kemp was running against stacy abrams and that election ended with brian kemp being elected governor but controversy about the election result just as secretary raffensperger was taking office. then, of course, all the controversies the people know about and that 2020 presidential election in the state of georgia and the role of the secretary in those. welcome secretary raffensperger and what i'd like to do is to begin with your piece because i think people should read it and he's written a new piece for national affairs, national affairs as a journal at the aei association and edited by heads
our section on social, cultural and constitutional affairs at aei in that piece just came out in spring 21 issue and entitled the assault on trust in our election. i won't give it all away but it does look at issues related to the 2020 election with trust and belief in the election results but also begins in 2018 with the election that i just discussed with the stacy abrams and brian kemp and in fact, i think the one phrase that set out for me was that you felt a sense of déjà vu when you were reliving the 2018 election in 2020. tell us about your piece and why you wrote it and why you are worried about trust in our election. >> if you didn't live in georgia you saw the results of what happened after the november 2020 election and after president trump came up short in the
election totals you saw that the beginning disinformation, misinformation campaign and that was a new strategy the people came up with but here in georgia we had seen this back in 2018. after stacy abrams lost in the by nearly 60000 now governor brian kemp she began this great narrative in her narrative was really it was two sides of the same coin but it was her narrative was voter suppression. president trump said it was voter fraud but its two sides of the same coin that you cannot trust the election results but somehow it had to beat the election process that had nothing to do with how many votes were counted. we began my term in 2019 with the host of lawsuits and then a whole bunch of new lawsuits that we received from fair fight, stacy abrams organization and when you look at what she said after she lost the election she said we will not concede so how could you concede when you know
that the result are not fair and so then that began a two-year process and she never stepped into her organization verify being number one of those raising over $90 million and then showering other candidates for the country with 66 million dollars has been spent because of her narrative that's been helpful for her. roll that into 2020 and we saw very similar you know systems and information processes that took place. both of them said that the machines were not accurate but in 2018 we had the old electron all paper machine that dated back to 2003 when they were put in and you have new verifiable paper ballot systems but at this time 2020 resolves president trump that they were flipping votes and that that you cannot be trusted and there were thousands and thousands of votes. in georgia after the 2020 election results, we got a 100%
hand recount ended electron vocal count of all those ballads and ran them through the scanners and basically got with all three counts virtually the same result and verified that the machines were accurate. but from that standpoint there are similarities between them and it's really unfortunately what it does is destroys the confidence in the election process and in effect, it takes a shot at the very heart of democracy and it's supposed to be one vote, one count accurate and make sure that it is a fair election. and we worked hard at georgia that we have fair elections and that we have the record turnout we've also had record registrations we also have one of the largest early voting that we've seen and is very generous in georgia when we've senate bill two oh two that just was increased by one day and we now has 70 days of early voting from
the 16th plus two days of send in voting and there's been a host of misinformation, disinformation and both of them have very large megaphones and tough to be that when they are megaphones are huge and when our office has limited resources that we do have. we speak out to that we speak the truth and we are hopefully going to talk but we had the invitation and then it was called away from us in the senate wanted to go along with this in stacy abrams narrative and they thought that played better for what they want to accomplish with it, s1, h.r. 1. we want to make people understand that it'll be easier to vote in georgia and they have appropriate guidelines in place and we also want to make sure that the election and i looked at the bipartisan nature and every candidate has to put their best foot forward and win the election on their merits but they need to understand in georgia you have a fair election process and we will make sure that happens.
>> let me ask you, what the line is that you think that both stacy abrams and donald trump crossed. obviously we are allowed to question our elections and call for recounts and to look for irregularities to speak out but if there is a certain point in time or a certain set of actions that you would say this is too far and this is where it goes beyond what is well protected and the ability of candidates to advocate for themselves and their results and when it goes too far, when it really goes to elections feel free to use an example from either of the cases that you bring up. >> well, i would say that in the case of stacy abrams not a single thing that she postulated put forward is based in fact. in fact, we responded to her point by point and recently we appeared in court with the u.s.
federal judge, excuse me, steve jones and there were many of her claims in which we were looking to get that before the court so we could conclusively just knock it down because she's been running for two years and we need to go back in 2014 and she tested what would be a hot button issues and one of the things that came out was the word voter suppression. she's been running that narrative since 2016, 2018, 2020 and that is her narrative and it's been a great money raising system and a great emotional hook on voters. she talked about how precincts have been closed and the secretary state had something to do the fat. it does not have anything to do with that. the counties set where they will have precinct locations and where they have polling locations and the two locations she complained about the most were in -- county run by
democrats. her own party would been suppressing the vote and i don't think there's truth to that but precincts change over time because, just because of the demand but if there is an issue they can take it up with their local and it's just their local county elections and they are put in place by democrats. she also talked about cleaning up the voter rolls and right now we have about 7.7 million people on the voter rolls and people have not talked about is that we have a very mobile society. she did a study of about 11% of all americans move every year and you can take 7.7 million people times 11% and that's 850,000 georgians every year and we don't know if they're in the precinct, out of the county, or if they moved out of state or if they're moving into the state and the point is a lot of movement of people and it is something we need to do to clean up the voter rolls. we joined eric with electronic
registration that is set up by the states so if each state joins and it's about 30 state joint, texas, north carolina, blue states, red states, members of this so we can objectively clean up our voter rolls and she said were doing it too arbitrarily but that did not withstand the scrutiny of the court and in 2019 looming it follows the standard practice in many other states. >> you raise the question of whether people can trust our elections or are worried that people are starting to distrust them, candidates in particular. i don't think this is just a policy question but can you discuss some of the policy questions or election and meditation questions around having a good recount, having a good transparent, quick resolution on the election and honestly we had any election run during covid in that pose more problems but may be more generally and i can think back to 2000 and of course, 2000
election was very famous recount and frankly, i think states after the fact did not think enough about their recount processes or accounting processes and opening them up to the public so what do you say about what you would do or what you are doing that reassures people through the process that things are going to get resolved, counted and results will be seen by all within a reasonable amount of time. >> number one, and the time that we have done three counts of those ballots there are speeds over some, posted in germany's date sent to our state election board member that we had already done three counts in the time that 20 state still had not finished their first count. we were very quick on that but the challenge we had in georgia is that the delta was so closed, till those votes that really didn't matter so we did a 100% hand recount of every single verifiable paper ballots on that ballad we did not go ahead and
recount the qr code but we looked and said president bush or vice president or libertarian candidate and that is what was recounted. we did a 100% recount of those ballots that we had an when we verified that of those 4 million ballots we issued the same answer and then we went ahead and after the election was certified the losing candidate can ask for a recount and that would then be run through the machines through the scanners again and we had virtually the same results. first time there was 100% hand recount and then a scanned recount and then there's also one that said nothing would change the results. so that answer the question about the accuracy of the equipment. every rumor that was thrown out by the term campaign survey, including the ones thrown out by cindy powell we went and checked and there were thousands of dead people that voted and we found two people that have died and someone voted in their place. we are trying to find out who that is but that was to not 5000
or 10000. that wasn't enough. we have not a single underage voter vote in the state of georgia. you can register to vote when you're 17 but he can't vote until you turn 18 and when the data there were all these under age voters, that a single underage voter voted. >> so, i will remind people that for the question time you can send questions to buy e-mails or with twitter aei elections, # aei elections. we've already gotten questions and a number of them are along the lines that you've been talking and i will summarize them because there are many in the same area but they ask about whether you will have a transparent audit, whether sheets matched up with the accounting and questions about the chain of custody and so you're dressed part of that but
maybe take on these questions more specifically and what to say about that in what to say about what you've done in relation to those questions? >> we have established the counties provided all the data points and we've established the chain of custody for every county in georgia, except three. there were three smaller counties and they represented about 3.0% of the total vote count and they will be sanctioned in the state election board for prosecution. the large counties to cold, all of the large metro counties established full chain of custody and given documentation and that's a powerful point people need to be aware of the. >> we ran this 2020 election during a global pandemic and that's not exactly what you signed up for when he ran for office but you as an election official had to run it under these conditions. will you say something about running elections over covid, both what was done, what might
have been done better and then also going forward what will stick, the changes that we made and what things are likely to stay around and what things were just temporary and just needed for this election when we were under duress? >> during the pandemic we did stand up an online portal and a form of that ended up being utilized for the ballot process in the new build the best thing in this item was something iran on in 2018 which was moving a signature and everyone listening needs to understand that we received from both the democrat and revoking party that this was a subjective measure and i agree and that's what i said in 2018 and we need to go to a drivers license number was his objective that is is what sp 202 does. they have joined me in that we are now having something objective with your birthdate
and your drivers license and that way we can verify that it is truly that boater who says we are we can verify their identity. that's a good change that will be implementing. we did that with the online portal in the fall election and i think there was a good implementation. the other thing is we been working on getting objective measures for the new system and it does take longer when we have a verifiable paper ballot and go through the choices, printed out, verify your choice but that takes more time so the counties can't have the same efficiency as with the old paperless so we've told them make sure you have enough equipment or increase in number of precincts. in the november election on tuesday there was a two wait time but now we put into state law that you cannot have a longer than one hour wait time during the day and by doing that we will make sure that we have an objective way in a verifiable and accountable way to make sure counties never go back to having
long lines again. if they have long lines they will have to increase the number of poll workers can increase the number of polling locations or increase the amount of equipment they have that way we can hold the counties accountable. at the end of the day we want our voters to have great voting experience. you've also shortened the run and i had the runoff king in georgia but the challenge we had in january is we had to move our state runoff to coincide with the federal runoff because we had a four-week run run off with an eight week runoff and now were going with choices for voting for overseas ballots and have a four week runoff for everyone and get results much quicker instead of pushing it up to january. >> so, we've been talking about elections in all sorts of ways and maybe i can bring this question so what do you think of the role of federal law or legislation versus state legislation and local
administration or specifically, obviously, we have before the congress a bill in the house h.r. 1 and a comparable bill in the senate and of course we had a lot recently passed in georgia which you referred to so give us some thoughts a little bit about what the balance should be between federal mandates and we do legislate on certain areas but we have mostly left to the base and should that change and then maybe your thoughts broadly about h.r. 1 and more thoughts about the georgia law. >> i think the constitution is very clear. it delegated or put down to the legislators in all 50 states and i think because in the pacific area states with the washington, oregon and california and also utah but those aren't male and states. colorado is a male in state for many other states and in fact,
more are such as vermont really don't do early voting and don't have a big absentee ballot program but show up on election day and each one and it's not a red state or blue state but it's what voters in those areas i think that should be left to local people and also as r1 and h.r. 1, the mistake they are making is that the written by legislators because they don't run elections but if you talk to are 159 election in georgia you would get a consensus that this is what makes that work for georgia and what would that be is we would like to have three options with no absentee -- voting and most of the elected directors would support that. lee voting, the reason election directors love early voting is because it takes that pressure off the election day and you
have now in georgia up to 19 days and many of the counties early and that's flexible for voters and then also we have election day and let the states decide what works best for them and we also want to make sure that we have the appropriate balances of accessibility and i think georgia has struck the right tone on that. >> so following on this question of federalism most of the money has been spent at the state and local levels we had a few exceptions after 2011 with the help america vote act and more recently money with security and for covid but your thoughts on that both on the place for funding and also the level of funding whether we need to find elections more and then i have a follow-up that comes from this batch of questions that come in and asks about the questions of accepting private funding and putting it on the table and
asking about money that zuckerberg and the foundation put into various jurisdictions across the country and whether that made sense or was appropriate and so broadly federal, state, funding and then this question of private funding. >> historically the county election officials felt it was with a tight budget, underfunded what we had sources of private funding the came during the pandemic with covid and one of the challenges we saw in georgia is that the bigger counties also had people there were grant writers and had two people on staff the right to the grants to give that source but it was really a lifesaver and with sd 202 what they're saying is we can have that money still coming to the state but it might decentralize and then it would be dispersed out on a per capita basis to all to make sure
everyone got some. men meet many of the members did not get a nickel because they did not have really access to those sources of funds buried the larger counties did and in the general assembly we would like to make sure going forward that it's dispersed throughout the entire state both rural, urban and counties on a per capita basis. >> let me take you back to what you mentioned earlier in the pandemic brought about the changes with respect to voting by mail. for disclosure i wrote a book about absentee voting and early voting back 15 years ago so i come to this honestly and have not changed my opinion on these things but i think americans we are more polarized the selection that we were in the past and i think there may be some differences before but in a democratic states and some have moved to early by mail and others are more traditional but certainly voters during the pandemic expressed differences,
democratic voters were much more enthusiastic and felt the need to watch by mail and republicans really felt that they would rather vote in person in georgia is, i would say, a strong early and it has options and all sorts of other options but has historically been a state that did a lot of that. where you see the state going now with the passage of the recent legislation or voter attitudes going forward? >> i believe the pandemic exposed for the very first time voting absentee. i voted absentee in the primary and then went back to in person and we registered at 6% and we shot up to 25 and my guess is we will go up 12% and we are twice where we used to be before we had the pandemic but that is just anyone's guess. i want to keep all three options available in getting voters choice.
>> okay, maybe i could also just ask you generally about the future of voting. with the pandemic that's brought new methods about and some say radically changed but if you look forward in a crystal ball and i use the term future vote voting loosely i guess i don't want to save future voting because different states will do different things but what do we likely see over the next year's or what would you like to see in terms of changes that would improve our election system at a wholesale level? >> number one, verifiable paper ballots. by 2024 every state in the union will have verifiable paper ballots and that's a good thing. that way if you have to get a close race like we had here you can do a 100% hand recount on all those paper ballots quickly and then it would be risk limiting audit. we are doing audits now in colorado led that the nationwide is seven or eight years and we
stood ours up in less than a year and we, because we wanted to have a confidence level 100% we did a 100% hand count but made or begun doing 95% level and taking a sample size and were doing that right now with the university of georgia on the absentee ballots with the signet on the envelopes of cobb county and were not doing that with uta and they can verify what that will be and we think about the actual paper ballots moving forward and i think paper ballots being put into place with house bill in 2019 when i first took office was such a how much we would need that but that allowed us to do a one hand count [inaudible] which could
verify the results that biden had about 12000 more votes than trump. >> you revert to technology but there were certainly controversies regarding voting technology and the criticisms of the technology as perhaps influenced or affected by people and what confidence to voters that what you are doing that they can see what works and what are the proper uses and where do you think we need more testing background, certification that would be helpful. >> i believe the electronic registration information center is a solid tool to use. it's led by the states and they can opt in and opt out. we've opt in with 30 other states and encouraging every other state to join so that we
get backward records of georgia is moving throughout and so we can update our roles objectively so where do you look for objective measures and i think that's better, that's a solid improvement. i also think moving away from that and moving towards the drivers license and that's what they're doing in minnesota and that's with the doing from red states to blue states with a nonpartisan way of doing it and so it's very objective because who can argue with someone's driver's license number and so i think that's another good way of moving forward and that's a verifiable way. i don't think were ready for internet voting. i talked to many election experts and that may be some version in 2030, down the road, but right now georgia has done with the verifiable paper ballots moving away from the signature match and moving to
the drivers license and getting registered by automated services is really good because what we did have is a cleaner list and it just makes the practice more objective and makes you have better data. >> i guess i wanted to ask about voter registration and i think that still many of the things we can improve in our system have to do with that and that underlies a lot of the controversies that come out of this and he referred to automatic voter registration and people have different ideas of what that actually means hand and whether like it or not and could you say something about, well, first, how did voter registration work during the pandemic? it's difficult for the people to go to the dmv so what were challenges there but then going forward georgia has done things like automatic voting and could you lay out what you mean by that or just broadly what do we
do to make lists accessible people get on those lists but to keep the accurate and make sure the people on the list are those eligible to vote. >> when people move to georgia and they get a drivers license they will go through the process and we will verify their citizenship which is very important for everyone that is already registered in georgia and we can they have american citizenship and verify their address and that they are here on a permanent basis. when you get your drivers license you will be opted in and registered unless you say don't register me but i want to opt out so we are an opt out state and you will be opted in and you will be registered and now we have a 7.7 plus registered georgians and some people talk about voter registration and there really isn't anyone to register other than people that have just moved here or other than people that just turned 18. everyone who wants to vote is
registered in the state of georgia right now. >> in terms of keeping your list current you mentioned you are part of the eric system which shares data with states to ensure that people move or you will know about but what do you do if that becomes a controversy in 2018 so what do you say about the proper way that states maintain their list and that don't scare people or pulling people off the lists are perhaps not doing enough to keep things up. >> one of the advantages last year when we sent out to all accurate registered voters we sent them absent valid tea and we got several hundred thousand of change of address forms that were undeliverable and so that was a potential pending list so we could not clean up the list while we were in the election cycle but they will be also
something that we can look at this year. it's very interesting that already when i talk about how mobile we are that we had over 20000 people that we cannot deliver the mail to them because obviously they moved out of georgia or it wasn't undeliverable address so that is the information and so we are encouraging in the counties to go through that process right now of mailing out to all those voters and make sure that your lists are accurate and to make sure that they have not moved. if they move from one country to another county we would like to know that information and you are supposed to update your drivers license and a lot of people don't do that till they get pulled over by the police and they say is this your current address and they say no, it's not and that would be a process that we begin that but we want to make sure that they have updated voter rolls and that way we know who we can expect to show up on election day so we can manage the election coverage and that's one of the things that is missing and as one. people have not reached out to the county election directors and what would you like to see
happen and clean list is one of them see the manager elections. do you know how may people live in your county or how many live in your precincts? >> you referred to as one or h1 several times and i guess i believe that is a very large bill and a lot in it and are there issues that you think could be put into category of election officials want more flexibility on how to implement certain types of processes and the h.r. 1, s1 are too specific, too restrictive and is there enough room for people for election officials to do the different types of things that different states are doing or do you believe that it's too prescriptive and perhaps have not talked enough. >> i believe they've not talked enough to election officials yet.
in fact, a couple years in georgia we had talked about new machines and all the election officials in spring or winter of 2018 and they were very surprised and you're talking about new machines and i remember some of the comments and i followed my papers yet and secretary of state that i was watching that whole process and secretary of state brian kemp had a commission to really make sure that we made the best decision of what it would look like and maybe what we need to do here and have a pause on as one, are one and make sure we have bipartisan support and i think of congress had any way of looking at this the carter center or president jimmy carter and homeland secretary of state james baker did on that bipartisan presidential commission and they had their best practices and obviously they did not agree on every thing but what they came out with was a list of recommendations and many of those were implemented since
that time and that's what i would say is make sure we get it from both sides. we live in polarizing times and we are a 50/50 nation and when one person has the 50.1 it will shove something down someone else's throat and so then what will happen as soon as the other side gets power and they will want to do the same thing. then it then it becomes to it not productive or healthy or what i believe is a consensus republic. we need to make sure that we reach across the aisle and build bipartisanship in the bill and what would you like to see, where do we need to have it and that hard negotiating on both sides and perhaps we need to reconvene that bipartisan commission again before we take another step forward. >> we have the issue of election with lines in the polling place and they've been controversial in different places and controversial in 2018 election primary in georgia and i worked with the bauer ginsberg commission back coming out of
2012 election where there was a real worry that we had long lines so what to say about the probable lines and some would point to the problems of lines in more urban, more african-american jurisdiction so what is causing them, what can we do to alleviate them in what does the new bill in georgia say or do regarding that and what would you say to people to reassure them that lines are not going to be as much of a problem is people are worried about. >> not to be partisan but those are run by democrats and the boards have a three-to democrat republican split and sometimes it's for-one and they lean on the left side so if there are problems in the democrats don't like it they need to talk to their county election officials and they come from that side of the aisle and so to blame that on the republicans is not a fair
or accurate assessment and that said it does get back to poll worker retention, poll worker recruitment, poll worker training and that's very important. during the june primary in georgia we did have issues and i don't want to minimize it but 155 out of 159 actually had success and we do have the counties, 139 counties begin at 7:00 a.m. and finished at 7:00 p.m. there is another 15 counties that had minor issues and there's a precinct or to the did not finish the election at exactly 7:00 p.m. because of early-morning issues but we did have about four or five counties that struggled mightily and that's because of the national narrative but since that time the county manager of anderson stepped in and came alongside the election center and came out of the fortune 500 company and had a tremendous managing skill
set and they made improvements. are they where they need to be yet? not quite but they did make improvement to get lilly on opening up lines and the two ideas that i received from fellow from aclu during the press conference and we recognized that in the implement of that and that really helped move the early voting cap cycles and they did not have early voting and that was a good thing. it's been put into the bill that we will have lines one hour or less and then we gave every county to primary and we looked at what they're precincts were set up and how many scenes they had and how many precincts they had and how many registered voters they had per precinct and gave a yellow mark, a mark like can you -- everything worked
perfectly and could you work those number of voters to the line and then they got good data from us and said these work here in these came back to us and we did there precinct and redid their numbers machines and when you look in november you had great results and the average statewide two minutes or less and so we defeated the issue of long line but we want to make sure we continue that progress with all of our counties. >> with the rise of voting by mail, especially this election people ask questions about the process and the post office and the postal service are they serving as well and are there problems there or are there problems there or other problems with individuals getting their ballots in and i getting in their ballots in late but what would you say about the way in which the processing and what do you think georgia wants to do in the future? what are these issues and the solutions in terms of people who will cast their ballot by mail?
>> number one, the united postal service is a federal response ability and goes back to the original constitution about post offices and by the time washington figures out they need to fix it but that is their problem and they got plenty on their plate just doing that but that is why last year we stood up these ballot drop boxes is people wanted to socially distant and they did not want to go into election office to pass their ballots but the post office was not reliable ballot drop boxes were incorporated for the first time with sp 202 within state law so they could be used going forward. there's one for every county and during the covid pandemic there were 35 counties even though we allowed those the state election board ruling under this emergency [inaudible] and now they have to have one per county. there will be a population -based one for every 100,000 voters and i do wish and i
stated this and i wish they would've had a bit more flexibility to have one for every early voting location and it would've worked better for the counties and many of the county election centers but i've been interviewed by the press about that and i think that's a reasonable position and hopefully they will look at that in the future after we've used this for this coming cycle this year but i think the ballot drop boxes make a lot of sense and [inaudible] this year with sp 202 you will have election directors. >> you've mentioned or we talked a lot about the differences between the parties, the motivation, are the things you feel like there is more of a consensus between the parties that we can move forward and that people aren't talking about it as much but what is that both parties can agree on in the various states, doing it in
various ways, that can move forward on election? >> many bills were filed in georgia in the general session that we had in many of the dollar bills were overly restrictive and both sides were heard and many are at large. many companies spoke so what the expanded early voting by one day and we had no excuse absentee voting and we also moved away from signature matching and we made the case in the general assembly made a very sound case that it would serve both the democratic and republican party and unfortunately when things become a political hot potato in the election issue and when you can do is hit everyone's emotional hot buttons and callout voter suppression or callout voter fraud and eugen appear base and it's a money raking this game. it's been very effective for stacy abrams and it looks like
it's been effective for republicans on the other side and they're using that as a way of generating money for their campaigns moving forward or their packs and it's unfortunate and we encourage people to stand down and let's look at what good policy is and where election directors can go about red counties would like to see election directors and blue counties and build a consensus about that and i think we are working hard in georgia to do that but when things get misconstrued people spin things up without reading the bill and getting out there and makes it tough so will be first faced in november there were some people that had large twitter accounts were used at large twitter accounts and how do you fight 80 million twitter followers when our secretary of state had maybe 20 million. we had to make our points and it takes but several months later
when, for example, you know sidney powell's attorney said no reasonable person can conclude that the statement were truly statements of fact, referring to her definition lawsuit where she is being sued by the voting system. she said it wasn't true and we did it point by point or bubble rebuttal and send that to congress but meanwhile the great lie is out there and people have accepted it as the truth. that is a challenge we have and i think still democrats, stacy abrams and other republicans continue and we continue to say to both of them here about the facts are and we continue to fight that narrative. >> so we go to part of the session we will hear from audience questions and we've already mentioned a few and we have a whole slew coming in but i want to give you the opportunity to submit some more. again, you can do so, as you see on the screen by e-mailing nicole or with the # aei
election on twitter. here is a question, several and i thank you will have to give context here but there have been several people asking why did you sign a consent degree with stacy abrams and the organizations and not involve the general assembly and i think this deals with some of her questions about the two any 18 election regarding signature match but you and multiple questions asked on that so what do you say? >> number one, we never signed a consent agreement. what was signed was a settlement agreement. if you go and look, it's defined by the attorney general and also who reserved the state election board. [inaudible] that is point number one. number two, in georgia unlike other states in pennsylvania
which is a commonwealth the secretary of state is constitutional officer just like the government just like the attorney general and just like our agricultural commission. within that, within the state constitution we have limited authority but we do have authority. the attorney general has the authority to cite the agreement that he did sign and it was a settlement agreement but here is what people need to understand. the settlement agreement, if you read it, it's everything will be done by the secretary of states office will be in accord with current state law. what that means is we still signature match of the time and we need the application and we still did signature match when the ballot came in and meet nature that we kept signature matching and at the same time that we were fighting for pillars that mark allies in the democratic party were running across the country saying we one
to see all of his for pillars and all were asked that the belts had to be received by 7:0e first federal judge said we had to accepted and we won on appeal. signature match was done away with in the state of south carolina and they lost we prevailed in the signature match so it is misconstrued that it's apparent that it was really many people did it out of the chase program and what i mean by that is stacy abrams and the democrats, if you got your absentee ballot they were hounding you until you got your absentee ballot and the republican party did not have that program. so where people got in the republican and one were calling them and hounding them in the democrats were effective and had a good ground game but if you read the agreement it was a settlement agreement and not a consent agreement.
the only consent agreement that i signed last year was against -- county after they mismanaged to actually put a monetary there for the first time ever in the first secretary of state and to get them under control with having a consent agreement so i had to monitor them and watch them. that's been going on since 1993 and i'm the first secretary of state to do anything about it. >> here's another question and this one i will read it and it's a long but i will summarize it. ...
that the intent of the people and legislature and constitution had spoken but election officials and others change the system before election day and there's a big question of what the court should do. should it stepped in or perhaps questions about the electoral college whether other states should submit something more based on what the legislature believes. so what do you make of the state constitutional question and the question of changes that happen in the policy rule fairly close to the election, what should we do about that as a way to keep people confident that the system is stable and transparent leading up to the election? >> last year in georgia i know
there's been lots of questions about pennsylvania, what happened in wisconsin and michigan and states like that. in georgia -- we are in a pandemic and governed a state of emergency and have a national stay-at-home order. we had to look at the pandemic and what we did is asked about the total of what we are going to do and why we are going to do that. they understood. we did the same thing. they understood and talked to the senate pro tem and speaker of the house. and voiced an objection afterwards but this is why we did. the counties didn't have staff able to handle.
and all of the third-party groups, the voters with multiple applications you could have gotten five to ten organizations you would get one and fill that out and two days later it would take off in three days, then you get another application and fill that one out. but the counties did not have the staff in place to do that so we went ahead and had a process we sent out one application to every voter because you had to require to send out an abdication but also we did run a great risk that a federal judge is going to come down and say you need to go ahead and make sure we have a uniform process, as it was. the counties had trouble with
that with files but make sure we had a process people could vote in the primary. as it was, we had to postpone the presidential primary and we pushed it up one date and had to postpone another three weeks later before we were finally ready because somewhere the situation was under control. the portal connected for the ballot application for the fall location connecting people with photo id which in effect was incorporated with sb zero two and we made sure to get the early voting. some went 100%. you can vote on the day of election or vote absentee. if you don't like absentee, that was put in place in 2005.
i'm not going to second place that that was put in place. there is a broad question that comes from finland and asks looking back and knowing what you know now, is there anything that you would do different? >> when we told the senate president and lieutenant governor and governor's office what we planned to do is send the same letter and the
objection in that because we need to move on this process very quick. it's unbelievable coming back later that is the only change it would have made because what was happening afterwards wasn't honest for one of those sections and i've been very clear about that. it goes back to the politics. we had what was called a jungle primary and that is for the u.s. senate. the government has the power when a seed becomes empty and he chose the law firm. that was his choice. what the speaker wanted was the partisan primary and favored doug collins. it was the governor's choice and that's how it shook out but it
was directed with our office and the governor made the choice. we had a runoff election and obviously in january between the senator and the democratic opponent, but they understood the power and the governor had an awful lot of power in understanding that and the general recognized we all have our roles to play by trying to respect everyone's positional power. >> with the piece of national what can we do if you are
worried i think rightly so the average person and candidates of high notes are worried about the integrity of elections and they think that it may not be the outcome may not be they don't accept them. what other things can we do, what are the big takeaways, give a helpful vote on what would help us get to a place where there is more of a lead and results by candidates and by the american people. >> sometimes we need the policy and if we have more votes i was on the city council we had a
counsel i understand that but i also understand that you have to make sure that it's a fair process. i think that the bipartisan mission that we had, i would encourage federal officials and national leadership to go ahead and reconvened that. i don't know who you would have on this site and that but people respected from the right and the left. reaching a consensus, that should be what we do moving forward. also the national association had trusted it was information that was bipartisan, nonpartisan information. make sure you get trusted information. everything that we put out if
you look at everything that we say people say that the machine slipped, there's a 100% recount. we sent a ten page letter to congress point by point rebuttal that is part of the national record that got there on januar. that's what we need to look at is if there's any support among the facts. it is a priceless franchise to vote and i'm not going to do anything. i understand the history of georgia. i will continue to fight for that in georgia.
♪♪ ♪♪ california republican joins us. the author of two new pieces of legislation focused specifically on the issue of the vaccine passports. congressman, what would those duplex. >> we t have two separate piece, one is on transportation that i have a strong belief that you shouldn't be singled out because you may not have a vexing passport in order to use airlines, amtrak et cetera. so we see even the biden administration backed away from the initial flurry of the vaccine passports and possible requirement for them. the second bill