Georgia officials were unable to provide bills or work orders related to a “burst pipe” at the Atlanta State Farm Arena, which was held responsible for an abrupt interruption in the vote count on election night.
“Aside from the lack of documentary evidence of the inspection or repair of a cracked pipe, we are asked to believe that at a time and place where virtually everything is being recorded and documented, there is not a single picture of this allegedly cracked pipe in The Georgian Attorney Paul Dzikowski, who received the text messages, told news.com.au in an email on Wednesday evening.
The right-wing Gateway Pundit website first reported the story on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump mentioned the blown pipe in his speech last Friday, in which he claimed key battlefield states where he led Mr Biden had suspiciously stopped counting on Tuesday night.
“In Georgia, a pipe burst in a distant place, no matter where it happened, and they stopped counting for four hours,” he said in a claim contested by fact checkers.
On Monday, Mr. Dzikowski sent an open file regarding the burst pipe to the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority – the state agency that owns the State Farm Arena.
“Please provide … all ‘public records’ relating to the burst pipe at the State Farm Arena that occurred on or about November 3, 2020 that affected the Fulton County government’s ballot counting has, including and not limited to internal and external communications with any person (s), notices to the Fulton County Board of Registrations and Elections, memoranda, notes, work orders, requirements, invoices, repair records, and all other public records, ”Dzikowski wrote.
AFCRA executive director Kerry Stewart responded less than half an hour later, adding “the only document that responds to your request” – a text message exchange between an unidentified person and Geoffrey Stiles, vice president of facilities for the Atlanta Hawks NBA -Teams.
“I just heard a burst water pipe at SFA, which will delay the counting of votes. Does this affect the AFCRA office? I think they were counting the votes next door, ”wrote the sender, whom Mr. Dzikowski believed was Mr. Stewart, at 7.42 pm.
“No sir – it was grossly exaggerated – it was a slow leak that was about an hour and a half late,” Stiles replied at 7.43pm. “We got it contained quickly – it didn’t spread – we just wanted to protect the equipment.”
Mr. Dzikowski made a similar application to Fulton County, which was also empty.
“The Fulton County law firm responded on behalf of the county and concluded that there were no” responsive records “relating to the alleged pipe burst or water line interruption – they are two completely different things, by the way,” he said.
“’Aqueduct’ refers to large volume transmission pipes that run underground along the highway code and outside the buildings, and a ‘pipe’ refers to the distribution pipes within the structure. In either case, I would expect a variety of records to be created (texts, emails, work orders, cross-departmental salary requirements, etc.) if a serious water leak had occurred in a large sports arena. ”
Mr. Dzikowski, who has spent “most of 10 years” as an outside attorney with five different county and local governments, said he submitted the open filing request “simply because I believed it would be the easiest way to go Either confirm or disprove Fulton County. “The reason given by the electoral authority to stop counting ballots.”
“Please understand that the board’s decision to stop counting was unprecedented,” he said.
“There are many Georgia residents, and Fulton County in particular, who question the official story. I just wanted to know the answer for my own edification. I am a concerned citizen who is concerned about the level of corruption that has taken place at the local, state and national levels in my country. ”
News.com.au has contacted State Farm Arena for a response.
Robb Pitts, chairman of the Fulton Commission, said The Atlanta Journal Constitution on Tuesday evening the pipe burst shortly after 6 a.m. and was repaired within two hours.
The newspaper found that the burst pipe was not mentioned by any district official during a 10 a.m. press conference.
“By 5:00 p.m., Fulton had scanned 86,191 of the 130,517 postal ballot papers that did not arrive in today’s mail.” The Atlanta Journal Constitution wrote at the time.
“They wanted to stop scanning postal ballot papers at 10:30 pm and pick them up in the morning. No official could explain, before the press conference, why Fulton had suspended postal votes at that point, and only say that this was the procedure. ”
There is no evidence that the confusion over the burst history is related to claims of widespread election fraud or other conspiracy theories.
The state’s Republicans have also raised concerns about the election, particularly the voting process in Fulton County, which includes the state capital and most populous city, Atlanta.
“Fulton County election officials announced to the media and our observers that they would close the tabulation center in the State Farm Arena at 10:30 pm on election night to secretly count ballots until 1:00 am,” said David Shafer, chairman of the Republican Party of Georgia
No one disputes that Fulton County elections officials falsely announced that the counting of ballots would stop at 10:30 p.m. No one disputes that Fulton County elected officials unlawfully resumed the counting of ballots after our observers left the center.— David Shafer (@DavidShafer) November 10, 2020
“No one denies that Fulton County election officials falsely announced that ballot counting would stop at 10:30 pm. No one denies that Fulton County’s elected officials illegally resumed ballot counting after our monitors left the center. ”
It comes after Georgia, a major battlefield state where Joe Biden defeated Mr Trump just under 0.3 percentage points, ordered a full recount and review of the vote.
Georgian Foreign Secretary Brad Raffensperger announced on Wednesday that 97 districts had submitted their final numbers to date, with Mr Biden leading Mr Trump with 14,111 of just under 4.93 million votes in the state.
The Republican official, who has come under heavy fire from his own party for running his election, said he will conduct a “risk-limiting review” of the presidential race after final district certifications.
“Because the scope is so tight, a complete manual recount is required in every county,” said Raffensperger. “This will help build trust. It will be an audit, a recount and a refresher at the same time. ”
Georgia, which has 16 votes for the electoral college, has to confirm its results by next Friday, November 20th. “It will be a tough job, but we will work with the counties to get this done in time for our state certification,” said Raffensperger.
He denied ordering the recount because the Trump campaign requested it and said, “No, we’re doing this because it makes the most sense.”
“When you have five million votes and the margin is so tight, 14,000, when we’ve taken 10,000 votes, you could suddenly say this is the person who won,” he said.
“You pull out 100,000, they say that person won. You pull out a million, that person won. And that’s why, mathematically speaking, you actually have to do a complete recount by hand because the margin is so narrow. ”
After the hand count, the loser can request a second machine recount.
Even if the Georgian result were to reverse – which has only happened in three of 31 nationwide recounts by less than 300 votes since 2000 – Mr Biden would still have enough votes for the electoral college to win the White House.
The Trump campaign has previously proven allegations of election fraud and other irregularities.
A lawsuit last week seeking to disqualify around 50 postal ballot papers that a Republican observer claimed had arrived after the deadline was dismissed by a judge.
On Wednesday, the Trump campaign came out with new allegations that the dead cast votes in Georgia, citing a handful of obituaries on newspapers and voter records.
“Ms. Deborah Jean Christiansen of Roswell, Georgia, was put to the vote on October 5th,” said a campaign statement.
“Then she voted in the election. The only problem? She died a year and a half ago in May 2019. Unfortunately, Ms. Christiansen is a victim of election fraud. ”
Mr Raffensperger has not yet responded to recent Trump campaign claims. During his press conference on Wednesday, he insisted that all allegations be considered but that state election officials defended.
“My office will continue to investigate every case of illegal voting,” he said. “Double votes, criminal votes, people voting outside the state – if you report it, we’ll investigate. We will continue to obey and enforce the law. ”
He said election workers “are the ones who do the hard work to ensure that all legal votes are counted”.
“Your job is hard, you fulfilled your responsibilities and you did your job,” he said.
“These men and women and my office will continue to obey the law and every legal vote will count. We have all worked hard to make fair and accurate counts to ensure that the will of voters is reflected in the final count and that each voter has confidence in the outcome, whether their candidate won or lost. ”
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