The State Election Board found probable cause that Douglas County election officials violated state law for allegedly failing to upload a memory card containing 293 votes in the 2020 general election.
The case was one of 24 of the 63 the State Election Board heard during a seven-hour meeting Thursday that it voted to refer to the Georgia Attorney General’s Office for prosecution.
Both Douglas County Election Supervisor Milton Kidd and the Douglas County Board of Elections and Registration are named by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the State Election Board for the alleged violation.
Walter Jones, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, said the attorney general’s office will decide whether to pursue the case with an administrative law judge. He said the charges are civil in nature and that if a judge finds Kidd and the county BOER guilty that a fine is the most likely penalty. Jones said the fine would most likely be paid for by the county’s taxpayers.
Kidd did not respond to a message seeking comment on the case. He and the county BOER were represented at Thursday’s hearing by attorney Bill Linkous.
The 293 votes were found during a hand recount of the contentious presidential race ordered by Raffensperger. Linkous said during Thursday’s meeting the county immediately notified the state after the memory card was found and the BOER recertified the results with the additional votes. President Joe Biden, who won Douglas County with about 62% of the vote, netted 28 votes after the 293 votes on the missing memory card were added to the total.
Linkous told the State Election Board that Douglas County hadn’t received enough training on the state’s new voting system by Dominion Voting Systems and that the county had to rely heavily on a technician provided by Dominion.
Linkous said the technician handled the uploading of the memory cards containing votes to the state and that the technician “believed that the card had uploaded, but it did not upload.”
“No one is sure why the memory card did not upload,” Linkous said.
However, Linkous noted Douglas County has “since instituted full corrective measures and conducted the January 2021 runoff election with no issues or problems either of this sort or any other.”
Linkous told the board, “We would contend there is no violation.” And he asked that the board either dismiss the case or to issue a letter of corrective actions for the county to take.
But a member of the State Election Board asked why the county didn’t notice there were 293 more voters in the Nov. 3 election than there were votes. Linkous told the board he “couldn’t answer with specifics” except that the “process changed” and the issue was corrected.
Jones said making sure the number of voters equals the number of votes cast is one of the procedures the state has in place to make sure all votes are counted.