Georgia Secretary of State Office Investigating Ballot Harvesting, Noncitizen Voter Registration

Georgia Secretary of State Office Investigating Ballot Harvesting, Noncitizen Voter Registration
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger gives an update on the state of the election and ballot count during a news conference at the State Capitol in Atlanta, Ga., on Nov. 6, 2020. (Dustin Chambers/Reuters)
Naveen Athrappully

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office is investigating the issue of ballot harvesting and the registration of noncitizens on voter rolls, the official said Tuesday on the “John Solomon Reports” podcast.

“[W]hat I found is we had 1,634 that were never put on the voter rolls, they were in the pending status, because they couldn’t prove their citizenship,” Raffensperger said, according to Just The News. “That’s a felony in Georgia to even attempt to register if you’re a noncitizen. And that’s a one- to 10-year prison term, and up to a $100,000 fine.”

Ballot harvesting refers to the practice of certain organizations or groups collecting the completed election ballots of individual voters and turning them in.

The state attorney general and local district attorneys have been informed about the issue. They are expected to interview noncitizens about whether the individuals added their names to the voter rolls out of their own free will or were influenced by some third-party organization, he added. Raffensperger hopes the investigations will unveil whether there are entities “attempting to get noncitizens on the voter rolls” in his state.

The secretary of state also highlighted the issue of ballot harvesting, including his office’s investigation into such an allegation in the 2020 election. They are looking into potential organizational support for such activities, including who paid ballot harvesters and how much. “We’re going to get to the bottom of it, and we’re going to prosecute,” he said.

Raffensperger pointed out that his office is presently defending a state law that mandates ID and citizenship checks for voting.

Fair Fight Action, an organization run by Democrat Stacey Abrams, is suing the state, saying that the law violates the Voting Rights Act and the American Constitution.

“[W]hen Stacey Abrams ran for governor four years ago, she talked about the blue wave,” Raffensperger stated, “And she said, ‘That’s the people who are documented and undocumented,’ i.e., that means the noncitizens ... she wanted them to be able to vote in our elections, and absolutely not.”

“I’ve been pushing back on that. I think that’s an incredibly critical issue, not just for us here in Georgia, but for the entire country. Only American citizens should vote.”

Raffensperger uncovered the issue of 1,634 fake voters after concluding a review of Georgia’s voter rolls in late March. He discovered attempts to register noncitizens as voters in 88 of Georgia’s 159 counties with 69 percent of such attempts concentrated in just five counties.

“As liberal states and cities around the country are changing their laws to allow noncitizen voting, I will continue to take steps to ensure Georgia’s elections are executed with integrity,” he said in a March 28 statement. “Leading the state’s first citizenship audit of the voter rolls is an important part of that effort.”
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