Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) announced Monday that he plans to open an immediate investigation into third party voter registration groups that are reportedly telling voters outside the state to vote in the January runoff elections for the state’s two Senate seats – a potential felony.
During a press conference, Raffensperger said four specific groups are involved in the investigation: America Votes, Vote Forward, The New Georgia Project and Operation New Voter Registration Georgia.
America Votes is allegedly sending absentee ballot applications to people at addresses where they have not lived since 1994, he said. The group claims it is using the voter rolls kept by Raffensperger’s office.
Making sure “every voice is heard”
“We’re pleased that so many Georgians have already applied to vote by mail this election and will continue our work to make sure every voice is heard in January,” the group said.
Raffensperger also accused Vote Forward of trying to register a dead woman in Alabama to vote in Georgia, the New Georgia Project of sending registration forms to people in New York, and Operation New Voter Registration Georgia of advising college students to register in Georgia rather than their hometowns, The Hill reported.
“Voting in Georgia when you are not a resident of Georgia is a felony, and encouraging college kids to commit felonies, with no regard for what [it] might mean for them is despicable,” Raffensperger said. “These third-party groups have a responsibility to not encourage illegal voting. If they do so, they will be held responsible.”
A total of 940,000 voters have requested absentee ballots in the state, compared to 1.3 million who did so during the 2020 election.
Saying “it’s OK to commit a felony”
Georgia Election Chief Gabriel Sterling told reporters that “this is new information, these outside groups attempting to register people illegally potentially, in other states.”
The groups appear to be “literally saying ‘hey, it’s OK to commit a felony,’” Sterling said.
Raffensperger’s office currently has 23 investigators working on 250 open investigations into “credible claims of illegal voting” and election law violations of the 2020 election, Sterling said.
The stakes for the two Georgia Senate runoffs could not be higher; if Republicans can win one of the two elections, they will retain their Senate majority, but if they lose both it will be a 50-50 tie with presumed Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker.
Democrats have said they may pack the Supreme Court and get rid of the Senate filibuster if they get control of the presidency and both houses of Congress, which would bring massive changes to the country.