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Georgia Secretary of State Investigating Voter Registration Group Run by Warnock

Democratic Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock speaks during an Election Night event in Atlanta, Ga., November 3, 2020. (Jessica McGowan/Pool via Reuters)

The New Georgia Project, a voter registration group formerly led by Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock, is under investigation for allegedly sending ballot applications to non-residents, the Georgia secretary of state said Monday.

Warnock was CEO of the group, which was originally founded by failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, until February. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced the group, and three others, are under investigation for improper registration activities.

While Raffensperger, a Republican who has been vocal in debunking President Trump’s claims of election fraud, said that he has not seen signs of widespread, systemic fraud, there is evidence of “third-party groups working to register people in other states to vote here in Georgia.”

Raffensperger said the New Georgia Project “sent voter registration applications to New York City,” in a potential violation of state law.

“Voting in Georgia when you are not a resident of Georgia is a felony,” Raffensperger said. “These third-party groups have a responsibility to not encourage illegal voting. If they do so, they will be held responsible.”

Warnock served as CEO of the group, which describes itself as a “nonpartisan effort to register and civically engage Georgians” from 2017 until February 21, 2020, according to the Washington Free Beacon. He has said he organized voter mobilization drives for the New Georgia Project, including an effort to register 80,000 new minority voters in 2014.

The group says it has registered “nearly 400,000 people from underrepresented communities to vote in Georgia.”

Warnock, who is competing against incumbent senator Kelly Loeffler (R., Ga.) in a runoff race that could decide party control of the Senate, had called past voter fraud probes against the group “alarmist.”

In 2014, the secretary of state’s office conducted an investigation into the New Georgia Project after contractors working for the group were accused of forging voter registration applications. The case was referred to law enforcement three years later, though no charges were ever brought.

Warnock claimed in 2017 that “using the word voter fraud is alarmist, and it was totally unnecessary.” He argued that the New Georgia Project had “excellent internal controls and that we have followed the law,” as evidenced by the lack of charges brought against the group.

Three other voter registration groups are also under investigation, Raffensperger said, including America Votes, which allegedly sent “absentee ballot applications to people at addresses where they have not lived since 1994.”

Vote Forward allegedly registered a dead Alabama voter in Georgia while Operation New Voter Registration Georgia is accused of recommending college students temporarily change their residency for the purpose of voting in the state.

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