43,000 Absentee Ballot Votes Counted in DeKalb County, Georgia 2020 Election Violated Chain of Custody Rule


43,907 of the 61,731 absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes in the November 2020 presidential election in DeKalb County, Georgia–72 percent–were counted in official tallies certified by the county and the state, despite violating chain of custody requirements set forward in Georgia Emergency Rule 183-1-14-1.8-.14  promulgated by the Georgia State Election Board at its July 1, 2020, meeting.

That rule states absentee ballots placed in drop boxes, “shall be immediately transported to the county registrar” by the two person collection team, which is required to sign a ballot transfer form indicating the number of ballots picked up, the time the ballots were picked up, and the location of the drop box, and that, “The county registrar or a designee thereof shall sign the ballot transfer form upon receipt of the ballots from the collection team.”

The Georgia Star News obtained 725 absentee ballot drop box transfer forms used in the November 2020 election in DeKalb County to document the chain of custody of the 61,731 absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes from the DeKalb County law department in response to an open records request.

Those 725 absentee ballot drop box transfer forms can be viewed here.

Of the 61,731 absentee ballots DeKalb County recorded as being deposited into drop boxes during the November 2020 election, 46 percent – or 28,194 of the absentee ballots – were not documented as being received by the elections registrar or the director’s designee until the day after they were collected from the drop box.

The range in which absentee ballots were collected from drop boxes in DeKalb County and documented as received by the registrar the next day was between 13 and 22 hours, or nearly a full day later.

For another 26 percent, representing 15,713 absentee ballots collected from drop boxes during the November 2020 election, there was no receipt time recorded at all by the elections office, as is required by the July 2020 emergency election code rule.

Records for seven full days of the 29-day election period – nearly one quarter – including October 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24 and November 1, fall into this category.

All told, 43,907 absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes in DeKalb County (28,194 absentee ballots whose chain of custody was accounted for on ballot transfer forms that were signed as received by the registrar’s designee one day after election workers removed them from drop boxes plus 15,713 absentee ballots whose chain of custody was accounted for on ballot transfer forms for with there was no registrar’s designee signature for time or date of receipt) were counted in the certified results of the November 3, 2020 election despite being delivered to the registrar’s office in clear violation of the chain of custody documentation of the Georgia State Election Board’s July 2020 rule. 

Another 24 percent – 14,925 absentee ballots collected from drop boxes – were documented as received by the elections official more than an hour after being collected by a two-person collection team, but on the same calendar day.

Arguably, these additional 14,925 absentee ballots could also be considered in violation of the election code rule that requires absentee ballots placed in drop boxes “shall be immediately transported to the county registrar.”

Less than 5 percent of the absentee ballots collected from drop boxes during the November 2020 election were recorded as being received by the elections official in an hour or less.

On November 20, 2020, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, certified Joe Biden as the winner of the state’s 16 electoral college votes over former President Donald Trump by a margin of 11,779 votes out of 5 million cast in the November 3, 2020 election.

News that in DeKalb County – just one of the state’s 159 counties – the number of absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes in the November 2020 election that were in violation of the state’s emergency rule for chain of custody documentation exceeds by more than three times Biden’s certified margin of statewide victory (43,907 votes compared to 11,779 votes) calls into question the legitimacy of that November 20, 2020 statewide certification by Secretary of State Raffensperger.

Similar to DeKalb, issues surrounding the chain of custody of absentee ballots deposited into drop boxes in Cobb County and Fulton County have been reported by The Star News.

After Fulton County did not provide the chain of custody documents for 18,901 absentee ballots deposited into drop boxes, an election official there admitted that the records were missing. Additionally, 85 percent of the drop box absentee ballots were not “immediately transported” and 5 percent were recorded as being delivered before they were picked up from the drop boxes.

A review of Cobb County’s chain of custody documents revealed that 6 collections totaling more than 1,800 ballots were transferred one day later, one collection of 227 ballots was transferred 2 days later and one collection of 274 ballots was transferred 3 days later, in addition to a number of other irregularities.

However, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger declared in an April press release that 120 of 123 Georgia counties that utilized drop boxes during the November 2020 election “filled out and retained ballot transfer forms in accordance with Georgia rules.”

The other three small counties – Coffee, Grady and Taylor – accounting for 0.37 percent of the absentee ballots in the November 2020 election, Raffensperger said at the time, were referred for investigation after failing to do their absentee ballot transfer forms in accordance with Georgia Rules and Regulations.

Two months later, The Star News reported in June that eight months after the November 2020 election and seven months after The Star News first requested chain of custody documents from officials in all 159 counties in Georgia as well as Secretary of State Raffensperger, “Georgia County Officials Have Not Produced Chain of Custody Records for 316,000 Absentee Vote by Mail Ballots Deposited in Drop Boxes in 2020 Election.”

While more than two dozen counties have failed to comply with The Star News public records request for absentee ballot chain of custody document for the 2020 election, on Friday – more than nine months after the election and more than eight months after receiving the initial Star News public records request, the Secretary of State’s office forwarded files for 129 counties which it says contain the requested chain of custody documentation for each of those counties.

The Star News has just begun to analyze those documents.                                                 .

DeKalb County, which is Georgia’s fourth most populous as of the 2020 census, has its county seat in Decatur and was not without issues during the November 2020 election.

On November 20, DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections officials fired a manager because the former employee “failed to follow our established protocols and blatantly disregarded the required processes we utilize to account for and record all legal and verified ballots.”

In October 2020, one month before the November 3, 2020 election, Chairman of the DeKalb County Democratic Party, John Jackson, called for the county’s Election Board Chairman Sam Tillman and Elections Director Erica Hamilton to resign, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Hamilton, as the director of Voter Registration and Elections for DeKalb County, is responsible for administering and supervising the conduct of elections and voter registration.

The call for her resignation was apparently due to long-standing questions about Hamilton’s ability to efficiently carry out elections.

– – –

Laura Baigert is a senior reporter at The Star News Network, where she covers stories for The Georgia Star News, The Tennessee Star, The Ohio Star and The Arizona Sun Times.
Photo “Vote Counting” by Governor Tom Wolf. CC BY 2.0.


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17 Thoughts to “43,000 Absentee Ballot Votes Counted in DeKalb County, Georgia 2020 Election Violated Chain of Custody Rule”

  1. Caroljane

    And when will something be done about this. It is definitely a violation of the law and needs to be handled correctly. Enough lying and cheating going on in our state as well as other states. FIX IT!! The country needs to require a new tabulation and the appropriate winner announced!!


    The system was fixed in favor of the Democrats. Had Trump won under these same conditions, the Democrats would be crying foul and demanding a reversal. Stop playing the idiots. And you suburban women who did not vote for Trump because of his language , SHAME ON YOU, 13 dead American soldiers and over 20 injured of our men and women, are on YOU!! YOU VOTED FOR A LOSER IN THE BASEMENT WITH NO BRAIN. NOW BRAG ABOUT YOUR PRESIDENT AND STAFF!!!!

  3. Iona Chaney

    It dont matter what happens left s r above the law no one has consaquences for the wrong they do if we dont correct it now its only gonna get worse we lose

  4. Ricky Towles

    And people like you are stupid.

  5. Joy presley

    The truth starts coming out. I’m not one for confrontation, but I just can’t see Joe Biden winning this election. He couldn’t get but a handful of supporters to come rally for him. Now we’re paying for this tragic injustice.

    1. Jackson Gilder

      There was a pandemic… hello?

  6. Kenn Gugel

    So this news is just coming out even after several Georgia audits DONE BY THE GOP


  7. John J

    Every State that believes in it’s own sovereignty should be calling for a forensic audit of the 2020 election! There is enough circumstantial evidence in Georgia, a Red State flipped Blue, to warrant every Red State doing one.

    If the Titanic had done a review of it’s lifeboat capacity before it left port, a lot less people would have died. The problem that we have with the 2020 election, is that the people who should call for the forensic audit, are already in the (governmental) lifeboats!

    1. Mick Manzuk

      Even though we are not in Georgia the results greatly affect us and if people our going to cheat there is no purpose having the elections things would be handled alot differently in afganistan and the covid 19 the wall that us tax payers put our money in to ans joe biden just because he has something against trump he decided we didnt need either we revote or give the election to the people who really won

      1. Jami

        Amen! Praying for Afghanistan & the innocent people 🙏

    2. Dave reeves

      The left will continuously move the goal post, change the talking point or just flat out lie.

      What the left calls small infractions that were not with intent is again a way of distracting from the truth.

      We know the truth because no mater what is found the government will never concede that no mater how small they believe it is it’s still not accurate.

      I truly believe the election was stolen by at the very least, manipulating votes, pulling suitcases from under tables after every one is gone. It hours on and on.

      I’m sick about this!
      Why can’t we investigate when it happened?
      It’s like the China virus, they waited too long to investigate. Is that a way to bury the truth or just another way the people with power lie!

      I suppose we will never really know!!!!!

      1. DaWan B.

        Plz that’s all the repugnants being doing from the beginning wtf 🥱..

  8. Beatrice Shaw

    Orange Man Bad. Thanks for holding the line, GA!!

    1. donna ziomek

      Election laws are overrated anyway.If you’re not cheating…do you really want to win?

    2. Michael O'Connor

      You don’t get the BIG picture. Biden is the Bad Man !

      1. DaWan B.

        No you don’t get the Big picture 🖼️ the Repugs are Toxic 🤔…

        1. Iona Chaney

          U r so wrong and tge lord up above knows the truth