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Georgia election official pours cold water on signature audit

ATLANTA — The Georgia secretary of state's office Monday poured cold water on calls for more scrutiny of voter signatures to root out potential fraud on absentee ballots cast in the presidential election.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for checking voter signatures as part of a recount in the race, which he lost to Joe Biden by more than 12,000 votes. And Gov. Brian Kemp and the Georgia Republican Party have called for auditing voter signatures to double-check the work of local election workers.

But at a news conference Monday, a top state election official confirmed it would be impossible to fulfill Trump's request. And though the kind of audit sought by the governor is technically feasible, the election official said there is no specific evidence of wrongdoing to warrant more scrutiny of voter signatures.

"We can't open investigations based on generalized, 'we're not happy with the outcome'" of the election, said Gabriel Sterling, the state's voting system manager. "If somebody comes to us with specific evidence, we investigate that."

— The Atlanta Journal-Constitution



Federal prosecutors charge 15 alleged Philly mobsters with racketeering, drug dealing and extortion

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia mob has limped along on life support for the past decade, its former leaders, Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, out of the picture after high-profile federal prosecutions.

But reports of La Cosa Nostra's demise have been greatly exaggerated, according to a federal grand jury indictment unsealed Monday by U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain. In fact, the mafia was adding new soldiers to its ranks as recently as 2015, prosecutors say, in ceremonies overseen by veterans of those former regimes.


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