As many as 1,000 Georgians voted twice in the state’s June 9 primary, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced on Tuesday, which is a felony that he vowed to prosecute.
“A double voter knows exactly what they’re doing, diluting the votes of each and every voter that follows the law,” Raffensperger said during a press conference at the state Capitol, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. “Those that make the choice to game the system are breaking the law. And as secretary of state, I will not tolerate it.” Double voting is punishable by one to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $100,000.
Raffensperger said the voters sent in absentee ballots, but then also voted in person. In a post-primary examination, the double votes were detected. About 150,000 people “who requested absentee ballots showed up at polling places on election day, often because they never received their absentee ballots in the mail or decided to instead vote in person,” AJC reported. “Of those, 1,000 of those voters had returned their absentee ballots to county election offices, and poll workers also allowed them to vote in-person.”
The double votes did not alter the outcome of any races, Raffensperger said.
With Democrats pushing for nationwide vote-by-mail, where ballots are mailed to every registered voter, more reports are emerging about problems with the system. For instance, a man in California last month pleaded guilty to charges that he fraudulently cast his dead mother’s ballots in three different elections.
Caesar Peter Abutin was charged in July with one felony count of fraud and one count of fraudulent voting. He pleaded guilty to committing mail-in voting fraud three times from 2012 to 2014 using the ballots of his late mother, who died in July 2006, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced. The DA’s office said he signed the name of his mother when applying for vote-by-mail ballots.
President Donald Trump warned last month that if universal mail-in voting is allowed, the U.S. is “never going to have a fair” presidential election.
“I have to tell you, that if you go with this universal mail-in […] tens of millions of ballots being sent to everybody and their dogs, dogs are getting them, OK? People that have been dead for 25 years are getting them, you have to see what’s happening. Then you’re never going to have a fair election,” Trump said in a Fox News interview.
Trump also said he would support extending voting to include the weekend before Election Day and adding additional voting booths to ease crowding. “I would support all of that. That’s what you want to do,” Trump said. “I would be for opening more voting booths.”
And the president also said he’s okay with absentee voting. “I totally support that,” Trump responded. “That’s a great thing.”
Related: CBS Mail-In Voting Experiment Shows Potentially Serious Issue