With U.S. Senate Runoffs Near, Georgia’s Not Prosecuting Its Unprecedented Number of Double Voters

With U.S. Senate Runoffs Near, Georgia’s Not Prosecuting Its Unprecedented Number of Double Voters

More than 1,700 Georgians illegally cast two ballots in 2020 — including the presidential race — but their fraudulent votes weren’t canceled out.
Paul Sperry
By

Note: The full-length version of the following article was published Nov. 13 by RealClearInvestigations.

More than 1,700 Georgians were singled out for illegally casting two ballots in 2020 elections – including last month’s presidential race – but their fraudulent votes weren’t canceled out, according to state election officials. And so far, none of the cheaters have been prosecuted, raising concerns about continued fraud as Georgia prepares to vote again in twin U.S. Senate runoff elections next month.

The majority of double voters were Democrats who cast an absentee ballot either by mail or drop box and also voted in person on Election Day, officials said, which is a felony under state law.

The highest share of offenders were from Fulton County, which includes Atlanta – many of whom were allowed to cast a second ballot by poll workers, officials said.

Hundreds of workers assigned to county poll sites were recruited and trained by the Democrat-run Georgia chapter of the ACLU and by Happy Faces Personnel Group, a minority-owned temp agency run by Democrat donors, according to documents obtained by RealClearInvestigations. 

The ACLU chapter is now signing up poll workers for the Jan. 5 runoff races. And the temp agency remains under contract with the county to supply workers for that critical election, despite complaints from poll managers and poll watchers that its recruits were “poorly trained” and “highly partisan.” The Georgia runoffs will determine control of the U.S. Senate.

Though the number of suspected double-voting felons is the largest in state history, RealClearInvestigations has learned that no cases have been referred to the state attorney general for criminal investigation.

Raffensperger’s Promise

The lack of action undercuts Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s promise last month “to prosecute those who try to undermine our elections to the fullest extent of the law.”

Raffensperger faced a backlash from leftist voting-rights groups, led by Democratic activist Stacey Abrams’ well-funded Fair Fight Action, over his warnings about fraud following the June primary, when more than 150,000 voters tried to vote twice but reportedly were unsuccessful.

Some local election officials believe Raffensperger is afraid of being labeled “racist” by Abrams, who is suing him for allegedly “disenfranchising” voters of color in the state.

“I am not sure the secretary of state has the backbone for this,” Fulton County poll manager Suzi Voyles said. “We have turned in thousands of unlawful voters and not one of them has been prosecuted.”

Forsyth County Commissioner Dennis Brown, a Republican, agreed. “He is a little bit afraid, politically, and buckled a little more than he should have to Abrams, who’s trying to stir up racial discord,” he said.

Raffensperger’s office declined an on-the-record interview.

The Double-Voting Problem

Pressured by Abrams and other activists, Raffensperger agreed to mail out absentee ballot applications and install ballot drop-off boxes in Georgia’s 159 counties. Absentee voting skyrocketed across the state. Both the primary and general elections drew record numbers of absentee ballots.

Despite the concerns about fraud, the boxes are being used again for next month’s runoffs. Absentee voting has already begun in the Senate races, which pit GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler against Democratic hopeful Raphael Warnock and Republican Sen. David Perdue against Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff. Democrats hope to win both contests to take control of the 100-seat Senate with 50 seats and Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris as a tie-breaker.

An investigation by Raffensperger’s office revealed that at least 1,042 people knowingly voted twice in the June primary, with 60 percent of them using Democratic Party ballots. Hundreds more broke the law again on Nov. 3. Voting twice is a felony punishable by one to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. Yet none of the total 1,736 confirmed cases of double-voting has been referred for prosecution, even though some cheaters were overheard bragging about violating the law.

In a guide for Georgia poll workers, the ACLU came close to encouraging double-voting: “Voters can cast a regular in-person ballot even if they requested an absentee ballot.” The chapter also facilitated absentee voting by listing the locations of all the drop boxes in the state, including some 36 drop boxes installed in Fulton County.

Poll workers are supposed to verify if a walk-in’s absentee ballot has already been received. If such a voter shows up at the polls after requesting an absentee ballot, poll workers must cancel the ballot electronically and have the voter sign an affidavit swearing he or she will not send it in. And they are supposed to turn away anyone who already voted absentee and then shows up in person. In hundreds of cases in Georgia, however, poll workers issued voter access cards to people who had already voted absentee, ignoring status messages that appeared on their electronic Poll Pads indicating that they had applied for an absentee ballot.

‘We Are Asking for the Same Outcome’

Records show the ACLU of Georgia is financially supported by Abrams’s group and run by Andrea Young, a civil-rights activist and Democrat who served as chief of staff to former Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga.

The ACLU of Georgia did not respond to requests for comment. Phone calls and emails to Fulton County went unanswered.

Local critics say it’s outrageous that state election officials have not even referred any of the hundreds of known cases of double-voting cheaters from the 2020 cycle to prosecutors for criminal investigation.

“I am terribly disappointed in the lack of enforcement of our election laws,” said Brown. “We are asking for the same outcome in January during the runoffs if something is not done soon.”

Investigative journalist Paul Sperry is a regular contributor to RealClearInvestigations and has written news or op-ed pieces for the New York Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal. His books include 'The Great American Bank Robbery' (2011), and 'Crude Politics: How Bush's Oil Cronies Hijacked the War on Terrorism' (2003).

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