Fears related to ongoing claims of voter fraud in the recent presidential election are looming over an upcoming U.S. Senate runoff race in Georgia.
According to the state’s top election official, an investigation is underway into third-party organizations allegedly involved in attempts to illegally register voters from outside of Georgia.
“Where they had not lived since 1994”
Brad Raffensperger made the announcement on Monday after having earlier dismissed the Trump campaign’s claims the Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s win was fraudulent.
Nevertheless, he and Gabriel Sterling, another top election official, acknowledged this week that outside groups appear to be seeking to manipulate the important Senate contests set for January 5.
According to Sterling, the groups “appear to be literally saying, ‘Hey, it’s OK to commit a felony.'”
One group, America Voters, sent “absentee ballot applications to people at addresses where they had not lived since 1994,” said Raffensperger.
Activist group Vote Forward allegedly tried to register a deceased Alabama woman to vote. The New Georgia Project reportedly sent voter registration applications to New York City. Yet another organization, Operation New Voter Registration Georgia, has encouraged college students to temporarily relocate to Georgia in order to vote in the upcoming election.
“They will be held responsible”
“Voting in Georgia when you are not a resident of Georgia is a felony,” Raffensperger said. “And encouraging college kids to commit felonies without regard for what it might mean for them is despicable.”
He went on to declare: “These third-party groups have a responsibility not to encourage illegal voting. If they do so, they will be held responsible.”
Prior to this announcement, Raffensperger attracted criticism from Trump and administration allies in response to his handling of the presidential election results. After the Republican official certified Biden as the winner, Trump sounded off recounts that he believes failed to catch fraudulent ballots.
With Trump’s supporters convinced Biden stole a victory in part because of the Georgia results, some in the state have even called for a boycott of the races that will determine which party controls the Senate.
The president has confirmed that he plans to appear in Georgia to campaign for the GOP senators and urged Republicans to ignore calls to sit out the election.