- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 27, 2021

A group of former Trump campaign staffers has not given up trying to show that their candidate won Georgia in the 2020 presidential election, though their new report is being dismissed by a state elections official as “innuendo and speculation.”

Post-election, the nonprofit Looking Ahead America was founded by campaign strategy and data director Matt Braynard to attract conservative voters through education and registration.

Its Voter Integrity Project (VIP) on April 19 issued the “Georgia Report,” which argues that at least 12,547 votes were cast illegally in Georgia — which former President Donald Trump lost by 11,779 votes to President Biden.

VIP looked at the U.S. Postal Service National Change of Address database (NCOA), tracked down addresses and did sampling to reach its conclusions.

“We conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the deserved winner of the state of Georgia’s presidential electoral votes in the 2020 General Election is unknowable,” the Braynard report says.

The Georgia Office of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, which oversees elections statewide, says the report is a rehash of arguments made by the Trump campaign in a lawsuit that it eventually dropped.

“These are the same recycled claims that were fact-checked live during a hearing in Georgia last year,” spokesman Ari Schaffer told The Washington Times. “This report is filled with nothing but innuendo and speculation that even its author knew would not stand up to the rigor of a real examination in court.”

The Trump team, which relied in part on Looking Ahead America data, dropped the lawsuit in January the day before a scheduled evidentiary hearing. Three other Trump complaints also were canceled.

“Rather than presenting their evidence and witnesses to a court and to cross-examination under oath, the Trump campaign wisely decided the smartest course was to dismiss their frivolous cases,” Mr. Raffensperger said at that time.

Mr. Raffensperger took two major steps to validate the vote count. He ordered a sample audit in Cobb County to assure a match of a voter’s signature on the ballot cover and the one on file. The audit showed that they did. He also ordered a hand count that confirmed that the tabulations on Dominion Voting Systems machines matched the manual recount. They did.

Mr. Trump made a series of unproven claims about voter fraud in battleground states. In Georgia, for example, he alleged that at least 5,000 dead people “voted.” Mr. Raffensperger’s investigative unit did not find a single deceased voter from a master list.

The Braynard group’s report is not about mortality, signatures or machines. His staff and volunteers focused on the registrations themselves and whether each person was a legal voter.

The Voter Integrity Project broke down its analysis into five “tranches” of what it considered illegal votes. The largest finding numbers-wise is “tranche 2,” which focuses on entries in the U.S. Postal Service’s NCOA.

VIP took a list of Georgia’s early and absentee votes and compared them to the NCOA data. It then used public and “semi-public available” tools to find the voters’ addresses.

The report says VIP identified 15,700 voters who changed address at least a month before the Nov. 3 election.

The group’s researchers then analyzed a randomized sample of 227 voters and concluded that 154 did not live in Georgia 30 days prior to election. Projecting the sample results onto the 15,700 address changers, the staff concluded that 10,651 ballots were cast illegally, with a margin of error of 6.2 percentage points.

In all, VIP found 12,547 purported illegal votes. It said it needs more data access to finish the project.

But the secretary of state’s office says it still has not seen Mr. Braynard’s paper trail to evaluate his conclusions.

“They haven’t released their data, so it’s hard to say what’s wrong unless we can see the records they’re referring to,” an official said. “If they hadn’t dropped their lawsuit the day before going to court, we would have been able to do that.”

The official said that relying on the NCOA and its 160 million entries is risky. The state must do further investigating, as opposed to sampling, and must attempt to contact the voters for confirmation.

Look Ahead America plans to issue similar reports on Wisconsin and Arizona, both of which Mr. Trump lost by relatively small margins.

“We are very glad to release this report and I could not be prouder of my team at Look Ahead America that produced it,” Mr. Braynard said. “This effort is the result of hundreds of hours of work of over forty individuals and nearly $100,000 in crowd-sourced funding.”

• Rowan Scarborough can be reached at rscarborough@washingtontimes.com.

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