April 18, 2017, Atlanta - Dunwoody resident Lakeidra Thomas, left, casts her ballot at Chestnut Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Cobb, Fulton and North DeKalb residents cast ballots today for the highly contested 6th Congressional District race. (DAVID BARNES / DAVID.BARNES@AJC.COM)
Photo: David Barnes/DAVID BARNES / SPECIAL
Photo: David Barnes/DAVID BARNES / SPECIAL

New investigation targets lost Georgia absentee ballot requests

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is opening a new investigation into allegations that 4,700 absentee ballot requests went missing before November's election.

Raffensperger, a Republican, announced the investigation Thursday after the Democratic Party of Georgia had alleged last fall that 4,700 DeKalb County voters sent ballot applications to the county elections office but never received their absentee ballots in the mail.

It's unclear how Raffensperger's investigation is different from the inquiry opened after the Democratic Party questioned what happened to the lost ballots in October, when Republican Brian Kemp was secretary of state. Kemp was elected governor in November.

“There is nothing I take more seriously than guaranteeing election integrity and bringing free and fair elections to every eligible voter, whether they choose to vote absentee or on Election Day,” Raffensperger said. “My office will exhaust every resource to investigate these allegations.”

The Democratic Party tracked the absentee ballot requests to a post office in the same zip code as the DeKalb elections office. It's unknown whether those ballot requests went missing at the post office, at the elections office or at some other point in the delivery process.

“We're still extremely concerned that we don't know what happened to the 4,700 DeKalb absentee ballots that went missing before the 2018 election,” said Democratic Party of Georgia spokeswoman Maggie Chambers. “We are committed to continuing our work and doing our part to make sure the issues of last year's election do not repeat in future elections." 

Please return to AJC.com for updates.

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