(Bloomberg) -- More than two-thirds of the 37,000 voter-registration challenges submitted by Donald Trump supporters in metro Atlanta’s Gwinnett County have been rejected or withdrawn, according to county spokeswoman Deborah Tuff.
The challenges, deposited at the county elections office in eight boxes on Aug. 29, were assembled by a group backed by former US National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Patrick Byrne, former chief executive officer of Overstock.com. The pair have been pushing the former president’s unfounded claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
More than 64,000 registration challenges have been filed to county elections offices in Georgia this year. They seek to either disqualify voters ahead of the Nov. 8 election or to make it more difficult for them to cast ballots. Georgia has two closely watched races this year, for the U.S. Senate and governor. Gwinnett County is a former Republican stronghold that has been reliably Democratic since 2016.
The challenges were allowed under a 2021 state law passed in response to Trump’s narrow loss in Georgia. The new law allowed individual citizens to challenge the eligibility of an unlimited number of voters and required county elections offices to respond within weeks.
Between 15,000 to 20,000 of the Gwinnett challenges turned out not to be challenges at all, according to county elections supervisor Zach Manifold, who said he has devoted 10 staff members to processing the complaints. Most of those involved people whom VoterGA, a group which is backed by Flynn and Byrne, alleged had received absentee ballots for the 2020 election before the window for requesting those ballots had opened.
The county contacted VoterGA after sampling several hundred of the absentee complaints and finding that all involved elderly or disabled voters on a rollover list, which allowed them to receive absentee ballots automatically without having to repeatedly request them.
VoterGA also withdrew another 6,274 of its challenges based on informational changes that the county has either addressed or is in the process of addressing, Tuff said. Others have been rejected for other reasons, leaving only “a few thousand left to examine,” she said.
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