Georgia officials warn judge of ‘grave consequences’ if they’re not allowed to wipe, reset voting machines

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Election officials in Georgia warned of “grave and serious consequences” if they are prevented from resetting voting machines in several counties.

A judge’s temporary restraining order to keep voting machines untouched in Cobb, Gwinnett, and Cherokee Counties is being challenged by election officials who contend that the machines need to be prepared for the upcoming Senate runoff elections in January. The officials have asked the court to lift the block so the Dominion Voting machines can be properly wiped and reset.

Machines needed for in-person voting are being prevented from having their memory cards cleared of data from the Nov. 3 election, according to the officials who requested the restraining order be lifted in a court filing on Thursday.

Voting equipment was set to be tested beginning on Dec. 3 but that has been delayed due to a Nov. 29 restraining order, issued by U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten, in response to attorneys Sidney Powell and Lin Wood who requested the order and an injunction against any altering to the machines in their case challenging Georgia’s presidential election results.

“The temporary restraining order has grave and serious consequences,” Kristi Royston, the elections supervisor for Gwinnett County’s Board of Voter Registrations and Elections, said in a declaration as part of the court filing Thursday.

“It is preventing the Gwinnett County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections from beginning its required preparation for the AIP [Advanced In Person] voting for the January 5 runoff elections for two United States Senate seats,” she added, noting that preparation for the voting is legally required to begin Dec. 14 and continue for three weeks.

“Hundreds of pieces of voting equipment are needed for deployment in time to begin AIP in December,” Royston wrote.

Unless the “Logic and Accuracy” testing can begin by having the order changed or struck down, it “will inevitably lead to widespread disruption” to mail-in and Election Day voting, according to Royston who also added that “long lines would be inevitable” with such a disruption.

The director of the Cobb County Elections Department, Janine Eveler, also explained how the restraining order was preventing the continued preparation of voting machines, which includes “the clearing of the memory cards.” In her affidavit, Eveler noted the process had already begun before the order was issued last week.

Testing on ballot marking devices needs to begin on Dec. 8, but almost 400 cards need to start being cleared by officials by Dec. 4, Eveler said. The process of clearing the old data from the devices and creating new memory cards takes at least two-and-a-half days to complete.

Eveler contended that a further delay in wiping the machines will cause problems in rushing the process and could be affected by a shortage of personnel as the holidays approach. She concluded that there would be “more risk of confusion and potential for errors” if the preparation of the machines is further delayed.

On Friday, a judge in the Eleventh Circuit court denied an appeal by Powell and Wood to decertify the election in Georgia on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction.

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

“This appeal arises from last-minute litigation that alleges widespread election-related misconduct and seeks sweeping relief,” Judge Andrew Brasher, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, wrote.

“The issue before us, however, is a narrow question of appellate jurisdiction: has the district court entered an order that we have jurisdiction to review? Because the answer to that question is ‘no,’ we must dismiss this appeal for lack of jurisdiction and allow the proceedings to continue in the district court,” he added, sending the case back to Batten’s court.

Powell had argued that forensic analyses of the Dominion voting machines needed to be conducted in the name of ” every freedom-loving world citizen.”

“Appellants, the people of Georgia and, indeed, the people of the United States, and every freedom-loving world citizen will be irreparably harmed if Appellees are allowed to alter the voting machines to rig elections in this country and make forensic analysis of the voting process impossible,” Powell said

Georgia’s Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger have asked Batten to “dissolve the November 29, 2020 Temporary Restraining Order entered by the Court” or else the “ability of local county officials to efficiently and securely conduct the upcoming January 5, 2021 Run-Off Elections will be significantly inhibited.”

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Frieda Powers

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