Former Fulton County Elections Official Explains Why He Voted Against Certification Twice During Jeffrey Clark’s Disbarment Trial

The second week of the disbarment trial of Donald Trump’s former DOJ official, Jeffrey Clark, resumed its second week on Monday. Clark, who is also a defendant in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ RICO prosecution, is being disciplined for drafting a letter that was never sent to Georgia officials after the 2020 election advising them of their options for dealing with the election illegalities.

The trial is expected to last two weeks, concluding this week.

D.C. Bar attorney Hamilton Fox continued to object to all of Clark’s witnesses. He said he had no idea who Heather Honey was or what she intended to talk about. Honey, who is from Pennsylvania and expected to testify on Tuesday, is widely considered one of the main investigators of election fraud in the 2020 election.

Mark Wingate, who served on the board of Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections, said he voted against certifying the 2020 election twice. He said the vote was split down the middle, with the two Democrats voting for certification and him and the other Republicans voting against it.

What concerned him was there were more voters on the active rolls than eligible voters, which continued after the 2020 election, and nothing was done to answer his questions about it. He requested chain of custody documentation, which was never returned to him.

“I and other board members had requested that we obtain the chain of custody documentation from the department and none of that was ever delivered,” he said.

He asked for surveillance footage of drop boxes, but no footage was ever turned over to him. “There was never any surveillance tape, an inch of footage delivered to the board,” Wingate said.

He discovered Fulton County was using the Bluecrest platform for absentee ballot processing, which includes electronic signature verification. He was told technicians from Bluecrest were still on site in 2020 trying to make the electronic signature verification work.

“I asked, ‘What did we do for signature verification?’ And the comment I got back frankly floored me, ‘We didn’t do any,'” Wingate said.

He added that Fulton County never got its signature verification software to work, including afterward. He continued serving on the board through 2023.

Finally, he voted against certification because he’d asked for more information about the ballots that were seen on video being brought out from under tables at State Farm Arena and was told he’d receive it, but he never did. To this day, he said not a single law enforcement agency contacted him about his concerns, even though he notified them. Wingate filed an affidavit in a Fulton County Republican Party lawsuit in 2023 going over those concerns.

He said that after the canvass was completed in Fulton County after the 2020 election, a hand count was done, and there was a 700-800 vote difference. In response, the officials conducted a third count by machine, which also had significantly different results.

Next, Heidi Hilchen Stirrup, who served as liaison from the White House to the DOJ, handling political appointments for the DOJ around the 2020 election, discussed how Attorney General Bill Barr didn’t want to do anything about the reports of election fraud. She said she met with him and another Trump official and expressed her concerns, asking Barr if there was an investigation. She said he responded and said there wasn’t a federal role for that; it had to be handled at the state level.

He said even if an investigation was conducted, it would take up to two years to investigate fraud and wouldn’t be done in time to overturn the election.

She added that she wasn’t asking about overturning the election.

Cyber security expert Shawn Smith testified next. Although he’d spent his entire career in the field, including working for the Department of Defense (DOD) in computer network defense, Fox grilled him about every possible type of work or training he’d done to try and show he was not qualified.

He finally got Smith to admit he had not worked for a federal government agency that procures election systems. Smith said that no government agency procures election systems, and the DOD oversees procurement.

Smith discussed the vulnerabilities of Dominion Voting Systems’ machines. He described it as “gross,” “intolerable,” and “compromising vulnerable systems.”

He said prototype designs to be tested were stored in a facility on an unsecured computer in an unsecured room for two weeks. Smith looked up the Dell components, read voluminous documentation, and read information about designing systems to understand all this. He said there was no way to “secure those systems” and “the voting that depends on them.”

He emphasized that none of the machines had certifications dated after 2005. The “voluntary system guidelines” dated after that don’t even mention the “chain of security.”

Smith discussed various reports from the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), including one titled Iranian Advanced Persistent Threat Actor Identified Obtaining Voter Registration Data.

He explained how SQL injections — inserting code into databases — could change the outcomes of elections. He said the interface would look the same so no one would ever know. A nefarious actor could set up whole users that weren’t visible to the normal users of the system, and create fictitious voter registrations. He said unless there is consistent and proper auditing of the logs, “you can’t trust the systems.”

When asked about a statement issued by federal election officials on November 12, 2020, declaring the election the most secure election, Smith said it was not accurate because those officials had not yet looked at the data.

Smith said an official from one of the election system certification agencies, Pro V&V, said that the machines were properly certified, but Smith didn’t give his statement much weight since he had no experience in cyber threats.

Next, Smith discussed how the state of Texas examined Dominion machines in 2019 and recommended against using them. The report concluded, “I cannot recommend certification. Computer systems should be designed to prevent or detect human error whenever possible and minimize the consequences of human mistakes and equipment failure. Instead, the Democracy Suite 5.5-A is fragile and error-prone. In my opinion, it should not be certified for use in Texas.”

Clark was ridiculed for expressing concern that thermostats could be hacked. Barbra Streisand posted on X last when the trial began, “Trump’s lawyer Jeff Clark, one of the lawyers on Trump’s attempted coup, floated the crazy theory that smart thermostats were somehow rigged to rig votes for President Biden. This would be laughable if they were not deadly serious about overturning the 2020 election.”

Clark’s attorney, Harry MacDougald, asked Smith about the possibility of thermostats being hacked. Smith said there is an “internet of things,” which is a “network of semi-smart devices.” It includes devices such as Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats. When you start taking them apart, he said, they’re small computers—“more sophisticated than the computers that sent the Apollo mission to the moon.”

He brought up a CBS article on how to prevent your home devices from being hacked, which included statistics for how many times hackers attempt to hack them. “One recent study found that smart homes can experience up to 12,000 hack attempts per week,” the cyber security expert said.

Smith added that he found that estimate low. He said thermostats may be designed specifically to be hacked. He said he saw that kind of thing over and over and over.

Smith pointed out how QR codes in voting create security vulnerabilities, causing Colorado to eliminate them in 2019. A press release from the state announcing the move said, “Although voters can see their vote choices, they cannot verify that the QR code is correct.”

Much of Smith’s testimony discussed documents from the Election Assistance Commission (EAC). He slammed the agency for not updating standards past 2005, calling them “totally inadequate.” He said he was very concerned by the EAC’s refusal to prohibit wireless systems in voting systems. He said the EAC’s guidelines are dated far behind the advances in technology since 2005, particularly in Wi-Fi, cellular, and Bluetooth.

He explained how CISA and other authorities don’t test the voting equipment used in your jurisdiction. He said the vendor was the only one who had tested them. The foreign supply chains cannot be tracked. He said local officials don’t know if they’ve been exploited; they have no idea whether motherboards are accessible to hackers.

“Even if they had the knowledge, they don’t even have the authority to look,” compounding the problem, he said. “Then they lie to the public about it.”

Garland Favorito of the election integrity group VoterGA testified next. The retired IT professional said he had worked full-time since 2017 investigating voter fraud. He discussed one of his reports, Unresolved Security Threats for Ballot Marking Devices. He said almost every cybersecurity expert he knows says Dominion and the other systems are deficient in terms of security.

Favorito discussed the judge’s opinion in the 2020 election lawsuit Curling v. Raffensperger. He said she found problems with the security of Dominion, violating multiple Georgia laws. “The law requires human readable text.”

He said he’s notified election officials about the security problems and has given them reports, but they have been unresponsive until this year. He went over the problems with risk-limiting audits. One problem is “you can’t audit what a ballot marking device shows to the voter,” he said.

Favorito listed some of the problems with the 2020 election. He said there was a broken chain of custody, people not monitoring the work, and unequal numbers of political party participants. The hand count audit in Fulton County found a 60 percent error rate, he said. There were discrepancies in almost every county between the hand count audit and the machine audit.

In Coffey County, he said the system both overcounted and undercounted votes, so officials certified the hand count because the machine count was unreliable.

Favorito said absentee ballot rejection rates are typically 3.5 percent statewide and require the ballots to be cured. However, in 2020, he said the rejection rate in Fulton County was 0.4 percent. He discovered later that some counties did not perform signature verification.

Favorito said absentee ballots made up about 10 percent of ballots in previous Fulton County elections. In 2020, that jumped to well over 50 percent. He concluded by stating that to this day, an extra 200,000 votes in Georgia’s 2020 election have never been accounted for.

Clark said the defense in this case and the RICO case cost millions. He has raised $93,769 on GiveSendGo. The trial resumes Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. EST on the D.C. Board on Professional Responsibility’s YouTube page. Favorito will resume testifying, and former Attorney General Ed Meese will be scheduled as a witness.

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Rachel Alexander is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News NetworkFollow Rachel on Twitter / X. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Attorney Jeffery Clark” by Jeffery Clark.


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