Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said there were “potentially 1,000 cases” of Georgians voting twice in the state’s primary in June and runoff in August, a felony that he said will be investigated and prosecuted.
The voters in question cast absentee ballots and then voted again in person on Election Day, Raffensperger said at a press conference on Tuesday, with the problem occurring across 100 Georgia counties.
“Every double voter will be investigated thoroughly. A double voter knows exactly what they’re doing, diluting the votes of each and every voter that follows the law,” Raffensperger said, adding that election officials didn’t spot the problem in time to prevent the votes from being tallied. It was not immediately clear whether the results of any of the races in Georgia have been impacted by the double-voting.
“Those that make the choice to game the system are breaking the law. And as secretary of state, I will not tolerate it,” he said. “No one gets to vote twice. Everyone gets one vote.”
He said his office is working with county officials statewide to ensure no double votes are cast in the November election. Historically, elections in Georgia have seen around 5 percent of ballots cast by absentee, while in this year’s primary and runoffs, that figure surged to nearly 50 percent, he said.
Ahead of the primary, Raffensperger encouraged voters to use absentee ballots to avoid potential exposure to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus and to reduce the number of people congregating at polling stations on Election Day.
Election officials received a record 1.6 million absentee ballot requests before the primary and about 150,000 of those who requested absentee ballots later showed up to vote in person and asked for their absentee ballots to be canceled, but around one thousand of those were still able to cast a second vote, Raffensperger said.
It comes as record numbers of Americans are expected to opt for alternative ways to cast their votes in the November election, instead of going to polling stations in person due to COVID-19 fears, amplifying concerns about election integrity. Over 43 percent of likely American voters would not trust in the integrity of an election if all voters automatically received ballots or ballot request forms by mail, according to a recent Epoch Times National Poll.
Attorney General William Barr, in a recent interview on CNN, argued that mass mail-in voting is an invitation for voter fraud and coercion.
“This is playing with fire,” Barr said. “We’re a very closely divided country here and people have to have confidence in the results of the election and the legitimacy of the government. And people trying to change the rules to this methodology—which as a matter of logic is very open to fraud and coercion—is reckless and dangerous,” Barr said. The attorney general also said that the Department of Justice was conducting several “very big” voter fraud investigations in multiple states.
Many states have expanded vote-by-mail arrangements amid the pandemic, with a tally by The Washington Post showing that at least 83 percent of American voters, or roughly 100 million people, will be able to vote by mail in the 2020 election.