The State Election Board on Wednesday referred 35 cases of election-law violations to the attorney general or local district attorneys for criminal prosecution.
“Election fraud is not tolerated in Georgia. When there is evidence of it, the people responsible face prosecution,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, chairman of the five-member board. “Georgia has multiple safeguards in place that allow our team of investigators to discover fraudulent voting. They worked to catch the wrongdoing in these cases, and they maintain the security of Georgia elections.”
The Secretary of State’s Office investigation division has 23 sworn officers with arrest power and vast experience as detectives in law enforcement. They impartially investigate allegations of voting irregularities and present their findings to the Board, which can levy fines, issue a letter of instruction or refer the case for prosecution.
Among the cases bound over for prosecution Wednesday were four incidents of felons voting or registering to vote, four cases of non-citizens voting or registering to vote and one case of misplaced ballots during the 2020 general election, which didn’t change the outcome but did affect the total. Also bound over for prosecution were canvassers for two organizations trying to register people to vote, including one who allegedly submitted registration applications they knew were false.
Of those bound over for prosecution Wednesday for alleged violations of Georgia election law, the most noteworthy are:
· The New Georgia Project which allegedly submitted 1,268 voter registration applications after the 10-day deadline, causing voters to be disenfranchised in the March 19, 2019 special election
· Samunta Shomine Pittman of Atlanta for allegedly submitting 70 false voter registration applications while canvassing for the Coalition for the People’s Agenda
· Floyd Jones and the Fayette County Board of Elections and Voter Registration where he was director at the time for alleged improper handling of four memory cards registering 2,760 votes in the Nov. 3, 2020 general election
· Joseph Lee Blackmon of Atlanta for allegedly registering to vote while serving a felony sentence
· Hassan Dawud Musaddiq of Decatur for allegedly voting while serving a felony sentence
· Michael M. Ware of Columbus for allegedly voting while serving a felony sentence
· Brian Keith Pritchard of Cherry Log for allegedly voting while serving a felony sentence
· Talibah Fagueera Fatimah Bint Abdul Hamid Bratton of Lilburn for allegedly submitting a false voter registration application
· Sharmaine Swift of Lithonia for allegedly submitting a false voter registration application
· Sophia Sharpe of Valdosta for allegedly voting in another person’s name
· Albert Niks of Winder for allegedly voting as a non-citizen
· Sean Watson of Covington for allegedly voting as a non-citizen
· Clifton Seymour Salmon of Fairburn for allegedly registering to vote as a non-citizen
· Hurlstone Hendy of Locust Grove for allegedly voting as a non-citizen
Georgia is recognized as a national leader in elections. It was the first state in the country to implement the trifecta of automatic voter registration, at least 16 days of early voting (which has been called the “gold standard”), and no-excuse absentee voting. Georgia continues to set records for voter turnout and election participation, seeing the largest increase in average turnout of any other state in the 2018 midterm election and record turnout in 2020, with over 1.3 million absentee by mail voters and over 3.6 million in-person voters utilizing Georgia’s new, secure, paper ballot voting system.