Investigations into groups registering people to vote in Georgia’s US Senate runoffs

2020 Election

ATLANTA (NewsNation Now) — The Georgia Secretary of State says his office is actively investigating voter registration groups working to register voters ahead of the Senate runoffs on Jan. 5.

Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says some of the voting groups may be using unethical or illegal tactics.

Raffensperger says several organizations are sending applications to dead people, to people out of state, and convincing college students to change their residency so they can vote in the upcoming Senate runoffs.

Among the groups under investigation is the New Georgia Project started by Democrat powerhouse Stacey Abrams.

“Since the announcement of our investigation yesterday we have additional information coming in regarding tactics from these groups including the New Georgia Project sending five voter registrations to the same dead person and sending applications to ineligible voters,” Raffensperger said on Tuesday.

The New Georgia Project raised $1.9 million in revenue as of last year, according to CauseIQ.

Much of their revenue comes from donations.

A spokesperson with the organization emailed NewsNation that “Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State, resurrected a tired and false claim against the New Georgia Project’s legitimate efforts to register eligible Georgians to participate in elections”

The statement did not specifically respond to the allegations.

NewsNation called the organization, but was not able to get additional information.

Office locations listed on corporate records for the New Georgia Project also did not turn up in-person offices.

Raffensperger says his office is also investigating a group called America Votes.

They had $12 million in revenue as of 2018, according to CauseIQ.

“We have opened an investigation into a group called America Votes who is sending absentee ballot applications to people at addresses where they have not lived since 1994,” Raffensperger said.

“Mailed registered voters in Georgia applications to safely and securely vote by mail in the January runoffs. These mailings were sent to the list of registered voters maintained by the Secretary of State,” America Votes told NewsNation a statement.

America Votes did not respond to the specific allegations, or requests for an interview.

Office staff at the building listed as their physical location in Marietta, Georgia said America Votes did not have an office there.

Despite the investigations into the nonprofit voter registration organizations, Georgia State University political science professor Dr. Daniel Franklin says he does not think the groups are actually encouraging people out of state to register to vote.

He says he is not surprised the Republican secretary of state is calling the groups out.

“High turnout elections favor the Democrats. And so Democrats are always trying to register voters and the Republicans would argue a lot of times that registration drives skirt the edge of the law. The Republicans, Democrats think, are trying to suppress the vote by putting up obstacles to voting. And so it is really part of the campaign,” Franklin said.

The Georgia Secretary of State announced his office is also investigating two other groups named Vote Forward and Operation New Voter Registration Georgia.

In a statement to NewsNation, Vote Forward said they have only sent letters to Georgia addresses and rely on a third party vendor to get voter information.

NewsNation was unable to locate any information about Operation New Voter Registration Georgia.

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