During the state’s primary in June, 1,000 Georgia voters successfully voted twice, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Tuesday.
The 1,000 Georgia residents cast votes by absentee ballot and then went in person to polling places on June 9 and voted again, Raffensperger said, adding that they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Of the 1,000 voters who voted twice, 58 percent requested Democratic ballots, according to Raffensperger’s office. Georgia does not offer the option to affiliate with a political party during voter registration, meaning voters who wish to vote in primary elections must request either a Republican or Democratic ballot.
“While the investigation is still ongoing, initial results show that of the partisan ballots at issue, approximately 58% were Democratic ballots,” a spokesperson for the Georgia Secretary of State said in a statement to National Review.
The secretary of state said that Georgia’s attorney general and local prosecutors will weigh whether to bring charges against the voters on a case-by-case basis.
“A double voter knows exactly what they’re doing, diluting the votes of each and every voter that follows the law,” Raffensperger said at a news conference. “Those that make the choice to game the system are breaking the law. And as secretary of state, I will not tolerate it.”
Voting twice is a felony in Georgia that carries a one to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
About 150,000 Georgia residents who requested absentee ballots later appeared at polling places during the state’s primary to vote in person, many because they either never received their absentee ballot or changed their minds and opted to vote in person. However, 1,000 of those voters had already mailed in their absentee ballot and were allowed to vote again by poll workers, although the double votes did not alter the outcome of any primary election, Raffensperger said.
About 1.15 million Georgia voters voted by absentee ballot during the primary, and 900,000 residents have requested absentee ballots so far for the general election so far.
The announcement comes as lawmakers, pundits, and activists on both sides of the aisle warn the public about the potential for complications and lengthy delays in tallying the final results of November’s general election due to an expected massive increase in the use of mail-in ballots.
President Trump suggested earlier this month that voters should attempt to vote twice in order to test the mail-in voting system, which he has warned could be a breeding ground for election fraud if large numbers of people vote by mail.
“Let them send it in and let them go vote, and if their system’s as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote,” Trump said. “If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote. And that’s what they should do.”