Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Rafensperger has launched an investigation into several groups, including one founded by former Georgian governor candidate Stacy Abrams for seeking to “aggressively” register “eligible, foreign or deceased voters” before January 5th. Senate runoff election.
Rafensperger’s cabinet said Wednesday that the investigations were involving groups including America Votes, Vote Forward and The New Georgia Project – which was founded by Abrams and previously chaired by Democratic Senate nominee Rafael Warnock.
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Rafensperger has been warning for weeks against efforts to register those who are not eligible to run in Georgia̵
“I have repeatedly issued clear warnings to groups and individuals working to undermine the integrity of the Georgian election through false and fraudulent registrations,” Rafensperger said in a statement Wednesday. “The security of the elections in Georgia is of the utmost importance.”
Rafensperger said Wednesday that his office “has received concrete evidence that these groups have requested the registration of non-eligible voters who have died or are living outside the state.”
“I will investigate these allegations in detail and take action against anyone who tries to undermine our elections,” he promised.
Rafensperger said earlier this week that America Votes “sends people in absentia to vote at addresses they have not lived in since 1994.”
Vote Forward, he said, “tried to register a dead Alabama voter, a woman, to vote here in Georgia.” He also stressed The New Georgia Project, “which sent voter registration applications to New York.”
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The secretary of state also pointed to “Operation New Voter Registration in Georgia, which tells students in Georgia that they can change their place of residence in Georgia and then change it back after the election.”
Rafensperger’s cabinet also has 23 investigators working on 250 open investigations into “credible allegations of illegal voting” and violations of the election law, he said.
According to the Georgia Code, false registration, ie. someone who registers to vote knowing they do not have the qualifications required by law is a felony and can be punished by between one and 10 years in prison and / or a fine of up to $ 100,000.
Rafensperger’s office on Wednesday described in detail several cases in which the Abrams-Warnock-related group, the New Georgia Project, wanted voters living outside the state and people who died. Warnock was chairman of the group until January.
Rafensperger’s office cites a Fulton County resident who reported receiving five postcards from The New Georgia Project requesting registration “for the same dead person” and a Cherokee resident who received a registration request. of voters from The New Georgia Project for her husband, who is not entitled to a third party, according to Rafensperger’s cabinet, said that the New Georgia project has sent a request for voter registration to his daughter, who is not registered to vote in Georgia and has not lived in a different state for five years, while a fourth person reported receiving a “postcard package” at her home in New York from The New Georgia Project, which encourages people to register and vote in the Senate runoff in Georgia.
Another effort, according to Georgian officials, Operation New Voter Registration, encouraged Emory students to fraudulently register to vote in the January 5th runoff. A pilot from the group told the students that “Your current place of residence may be another country. You are simply changing your country of residence now; and it can be returned for future elections (of your choice). ”
Meanwhile, Vote Forward, a non-profit organization, sent a letter to a long-dead Alabama resident encouraging her to register to vote, while America Votes, called the “Progressive Community Coordination Center,” sent two applications to vote one week ago. a person at an address where they have not resided since July 1994.
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The current balance of power for the next Senate, which comes out of this month’s election, is 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats. This means that Democrats must win both Georgia’s runoff to turn it into a 50-50 Senate. If that happens, newly elected Vice President Kamala Harris will be the voting party, giving her party a majority in the chamber.
In Georgia, where state law dictates a run-off if no candidate reaches 50% of the vote, GOP Sen. David Purdue almost failed to avoid a run-off, winning 49.75% of the vote. Democratic candidate John Osoff has about 87,000 votes.
In the other race, appointed Republican Sen. Kelly Löfler won nearly 26 percent of the vote in the huge 20-candidate special election to fill the last two years of former GOP Senator Johnny Isaacson’s term. The Democratic candidate in the runoff, the Rev. Rafael Warnock, won nearly 33% of the vote in the first round.
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Paul Connor of Fox News contributed to this report.