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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has referred more than 1,600 non-citizens for criminal prosecution for attempting to register to vote in the Peach State.
Just the News reported that the Republican elections chief referred the cases to the State Election Board, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and local prosecutors for action, according to a statement issued by his office. The announcement comes just weeks after Raffensperger noted that his office had completed the first citizenship audit of the state’s voter registration lists.
The release noted that the audit found 1,634 non-citizens who attempted to illegally register to vote. State officials were not able to verify the non-citizens via the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program, however.
“Ensuring that only citizens are voting in Georgia’s elections is key to upholding the integrity of the vote in Georgia,” said Raffensperger in the news release. “As liberal states and cities around the country are changing their laws to allow noncitizen voting, I will continue to take steps to ensure Georgia’s elections are executed with integrity. Leading the state’s first citizenship audit of the voter rolls is an important part of that effort.”
“Attempting to register to vote by an individual who knows he or she is ineligible is a violation of Georgia law,” Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Chris Arnt added separately.
The release added: “Due to Georgia’s existing citizenship check procedures, the noncitizens identified in the citizenship check were placed into “pending citizenship” status and were not able to vote.”
It also said:
The search found 1,634 individuals who had attempted to register to vote in Georgia despite not being citizens. In total, 2,258 voter registration applications are currently in “pending citizenship” status. The difference between the two numbers is that there were 624 records where the Secretary of State’s office was not able to obtain the required information to utilize the SAVE verification tool.
Those additional 624 applicants remain in “pending citizenship” status because the citizenship check with the Department of Driver Services at the time of registration flagged those applicants as non-citizens according to DDS records. All 2,258 individuals were placed in pending status and not added to the voter rolls. None of these individuals have cast ballots in the Georgia elections.
The audit results noted that non-citizens attempted to register to vote in 88 counties in Georgia between 1997 and Feb. 24, 2022, though 80 percent of the attempts took place after 2016. “DeKalb County had the highest number of attempted non-citizen registrants with 345, followed by Fulton County (275) and Gwinnett County (221). Five metro Atlanta counties — Clayton (141), Cobb (143), Gwinnett, Fulton, and DeKalb — represented 69% of the attempted non-citizen applicants, officials said,” according to Just the News.
Raffensperger, along with Gov. Brian Kemp (R), both drew the ire of then-President Donald Trump following the 2020 election after he lost the state to Joe Biden, marking the first victory in Georgia by a Democrat in decades. During a fiery rally speech last month, Trump described Kemp as “a turncoat” and “a coward,” further accusing him of making Georgia elections “a complete and total disaster.”
As such, Trump has endorsed a primary challenger to Kemp, former U.S. Sen. David Perdue.
“Before we can defeat the Democrats, socialists, and communists, which is exactly what we’re running against at the ballot boxes next fall, we first have to defeat the RINOs, sellouts, and the losers in the primaries this spring. We have a big primary coming up right here in your state. We’re going to throw out a very, very sad situation that took place here: RINO Gov. Brian Kemp,” Trump continued.
“And we’re going to replace him with a very strong person and a fearless fighter and somebody that frankly got screwed in the last election; David Perdue never lost in his life.”