Carter, 96, said he knows the dangers of voting fraud after ballot-stuffing aided his opponent in an election for state Senate in 1962. At least one dead person and man confined to federal prison had cast ballots. A judge ordered a new election, which Carter won.
But Carter said modern Georgia elections are protected by a ballot paper trail and post-election audits, which were used to conduct a manual recount that confirmed Democrat Joe Biden had defeated Republican Donald Trump in Georgia by about 12,000 votes.
“As our state legislators seek to turn back the clock through legislation that will restrict access to voting for many Georgians, I am disheartened, saddened, and angry,” Carter said. “Many of the proposed changes are reactions to allegations of fraud for which no evidence was produced.”
Carter also said critics of absentee voting shouldn’t depend on the 16-year-old findings of a commission he co-chaired with former Secretary of State James Baker, which at the time found that mail-in ballots “remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.”
Since then, Carter said vote-by-mail practices have improved and new technologies have been developed. Carter said he now believes that voting by mail can be conducted securely.
“We must not promote confidence among one segment of the electorate by restricting the participation of others. Our goal always should be to increase, not decrease, voter participation,” Carter said.