Georgia elections chief asks for investigation into noncitizen voting

Georgia Secretary Of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol on Aug. 11, 2021. (Christine Tannous/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Credit: TNS

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Georgia Secretary Of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol on Aug. 11, 2021. (Christine Tannous/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Monday he has asked law enforcement and local elections officials to investigate people who may not have been U.S. citizens when they tried to register to vote.

Last month, Raffensperger said a review by his office found 1,634 possible noncitizens who sought to register to vote. None of them actually cast a ballot, according to the review, which spanned five years of voting records.

The Republican elections chief said he has referred the cases to the GBI as well as local prosecutors and local elections officials.

“Attempting to register to vote while knowing you do not possess the qualifications to vote is a felony in Georgia, a serious one,” Raffensperger said.

Raffensperger, who is up for reelection this year, announced the move at a state Capitol news conference while, less than one mile away, a trial kicked off in federal court to determine whether Georgia’s election laws kept voters from casting ballots in 2018 and 2002 elections. The lawsuit was filed by Fair Fight Action, a voting rights group founded by Democrat Stacey Abrams following her loss to Republican Brian Kemp in the 2018 race for governor.

Raffensperger said Monday that third-party groups, like Fair Fight Action, are seeking to undermine election integrity by encouraging noncitizens to try to vote, a charge the organization denies. He also predicted the state would prevail in the federal bench trial.

“We will meet them and beat them in a court of law,” Raffensperger said.