A member of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office attempted to shift the blame to President Donald J. Trump and his supporters, including a newly-elected congresswoman, for the GOP’s failure in the U.S. runoffs in the Peach State.
“The drop off in GOP turnout from Nov to Jan was driven by Trump and most prominently in areas represented by Doug Collins and Marjorie Taylor Greene. These folks cost the GOP two senate seats and control of the Senate. Giving Biden and Dems a free hand,” Gabriel Sterling, the Secretary of States’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial officer said on Twitter.
Twitter suspended Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene from her personal account temporarily on Sunday. The suspension occurred shortly after Greene posted allegations that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Gabriel Sterling were to blame for potential voter fraud.
Greene had issued a response to Sterling’s tweet which claimed that Greene, Doug Collins, and President Donald Trump were to blame for a significant drop-off in Republican turnout. Just over 270,000 less Republicans voted in the runoff elections, as compared to nearly 166,000 less Democrats.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger called President Trump’s remarks a “threat” during a 60 Minutes interview aired Monday. The interview also included previous Voting System Implementation Manager Gabriel Sterling, currently the Secretary of State’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer.
Raffensperger was referring to a secretly-recorded, leaked call in which the President questioned the merits of Georgia’s elections systems, voter fraud allegations, and election irregularities. At several points, Trump criticized Raffensperger for stating that there wasn’t any evidence of criminality within the 2020 general election. The President also likened Raffensperger’s unwillingness to assign credibility to election fraud claims with criminal activity. Raffensperger was referring to a secretly-recorded, leaked call in which the President questioned the merits of Georgia’s elections systems, voter fraud allegations, and election irregularities. At several points, Trump criticized Raffensperger for stating that there wasn’t any evidence of criminality within the 2020 general election. The President also likened Raffensperger’s unwillingness to assign credibility to election fraud claims with criminal activity.
Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Gabriel Sterling negotiated a $200,000 annual contract for himself last year to oversee the new voting technology from Dominion Voting Systems. Under that position, it’s reported that he worked as an independent contractor rather than as a government employee. However, he identified himself in that position as a full-time employee.
Sterling’s stint last year as an independent contractor aligned with the state’s decision in 2019 to award Dominion a $107 million contract for its voting systems. Prior to working as an independent contractor for the state, Sterling worked under one of his current positions: Chief Operating Officer. He earned much less under that government position – around $114,000 annually. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained the information on Sterling’s contracts through an open records request.
Georgia State Senate Judiciary Subcommittee held another hearing on election fraud on Wednesday. Chairman William Ligon (R-GA-White Oak) oversaw the hearing.
Witnesses testified to multiple variants of election integrity issues, including the voting machines, voting systems, poll workers and adjudicators, and even the printed QR ballots themselves. A consistent message throughout the testimonies reflected a lack of helpfulness from the secretary of state’s office.
Voting Systems Manager Gabriel Sterling revealed on Tuesday that a woman used his address to vote in the general election and request an absentee ballot for the runoff election. Sterling learned of the fraudulent voting after he received a flier from a voting organization reminding the woman, Meron Fissha, to return her absentee ballot.
“The Lord moves in mysterious ways,” remarked Sterling on the matter.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger declined to testify before the Georgia House of Representatives about potential fraud in the 2020 general election on Thursday. The House Governmental Affairs Committee oversaw the hearing.
Many of the claims presented during the hearing resembled those offered during the State Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing last week. The secretary of state’s office reportedly declined to attend that hearing as well.
Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to discuss Georgia Voting System Implementation Manager Gabriel Sterling’s ties to the Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger.
A Gwinnett County, Georgia elections official confirmed that Dominion Voting Systems (Dominion) representatives use USB drives to upload vote count data to laptops for external processing. The USB drives are also known as “memory sticks,” “thumb drives,” or “flash drives.” It is standard protocol for Dominion, as well as for most electronic voting systems.
The county official issued the statement in an emailed response to a viral video claiming that a Dominion representative manipulated vote data. In the film, a Dominion technician appears to load vote count data from county monitors onto a USB. Then, he proceeded to plug the USB into a separate laptop.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Voting Systems Manager Gabriel Sterling discussed the elections and lawsuits in a press conference on Monday. Both men asserted that the latest recount will confirm the election results, that the lawsuits made baseless claims, and that the upcoming runoff elections are their focus.
Raffensperger announced that the latest recount is scheduled to be completed by midnight on Wednesday. He added that his office will be releasing the recount results online.
On Sunday, the recount was delayed in Fulton County after a crash occurred in Dominion Voting System servers. The delay halted recount operations for several hours.
“Technicians from Dominion have been dispatched to resolve the issue,” stated Fulton County Officials. “The Georgia Secretary of State’s office has been alerted to the issue and is aware of efforts to resolve the problem.”