GBI to aid Georgia voting fraud investigations

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

The secretary of state’s office is enlisting the GBI to help investigate allegations of voter fraud and other election improprieties in Georgia.

The office says it is investigating more than 250 allegations involving this year’s elections. The claims include possible instances of dead people voting, double voting and out-of-state voting.

That work has been done by the office’s 23 investigators. But Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Friday evening that Gov. Brian Kemp has agreed to his request to have the GBI aid in the investigations.

“The governor and I are committed to following every lead, and the expertise, experience and manpower provided by the GBI will help us move more quickly through a process where time is of the essence,” Raffensperger said in making the announcement. “We will stop at nothing to guarantee that all Georgians can have faith in the integrity of our election.”

State election officials say the investigations will not affect the outcome of the presidential race, which was won by Joe Biden.

In a separate case, the secretary of state’s office is investigating a Florida attorney who is accused of fraudulently applying to register to vote in Georgia so he could vote in next month’s U.S. Senate runoff elections.

The governor and the secretary have come under increasing pressure from fellow Republicans as President Donald Trump has continued to make unproven allegations of massive voter fraud in Georgia and other states.

Trump could keep up the pressure at a rally Saturday in Valdosta to support the runoff campaigns of Republican U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.

On Friday the president’s campaign announced it had filed another lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court. Among other things, it alleges that tens of thousands of underage voters, felons, out-of-state residents and other ineligible people voted in the November election.

The president and his supporters have filed dozens of lawsuits in key states, including Georgia, seeking to overturn the election of Joe Biden. None has been successful so far.

Trump’s own attorney general, William Barr, has said federal investigators have found no evidence of widespread voting fraud. Raffensperger has said investigators from his office also have not found evidence of fraud sizable enough to change the outcome of the election.

But the pressure on Kemp and Raffensperger has been growing. Trump has blasted both men repeatedly. And Georgia lawmakers are hearing from their constituents that they want something done.

On Thursday, two state Senate committees held hearings on voting problems. A state House committee will follow suit next week.

Enlisting the GBI may provide credibility for the investigations that — at least for the president’s most ardent supporters — Raffensperger’s office lacks.

“Highly qualified GBI personnel will work alongside law enforcement officers within the secretary of state’s office to ensure that Georgia’s election laws are followed and the investigations are completed as soon as appropriate,” Kemp said in the announcement.

Staff writer Greg Bluestein contributed to this article.