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Absentee ballot fraud? 1,000 people voted TWICE in Georgia primary and will be prosecuted, secretary of state confirms

Absentee ballot fraud? 1,000 people voted TWICE in Georgia primary and will be prosecuted, secretary of state confirms
As many as 1,000 Georgia citizens voted twice in a June primary, and its secretary of state has vowed to prosecute. Those guilty could face between one and 10 years in prison, and as much as a $100,000 fine.

“A double voter knows exactly what they’re doing, diluting the votes of each and every voter that follows the law,” Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced on Tuesday in a press conference. 

The voters allegedly mailed in absentee ballots but then also showed up to vote again in person. The double-voting was discovered in a post-primary examination. Around 150,000 people who requested absentee ballots showed up to vote in person, but in many cases this was because they either did not turn in their ballots or nothing was sent to them. 

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Raffensperger claims the double votes did not affect the outcome of any elections.

Voter fraud has been a tensely debated subject in the US as numerous Democrats have pushed for a massive mail-in system, citing concerns about the current Covid-19 pandemic. President Donald Trump has pushed back, claiming mail-in voting presents the potential for fraud, and conservatives have cited numerous examples of voter fraud happening across the country, with Georgia being the latest data they have seized on.

The Georgia situation, however, refers specifically to absentee voting, which differs from mail-in voting. Absentee ballots can be requested by anyone and are sent by mail before election day to someone who can’t vote in person. Mail-in voting is a policy system – currently active in five states – whereby ballots are mailed to all voters and either mailed back or dropped into a polling station on election day. 

Ironically, the president himself was recently accused of promoting double voting in comments that were flagged by both Twitter and Facebook.

Casting doubt on absentee ballots being reliably counted in North Carolina, Trump encouraged people to send them in and then show up at the polls to vote again, as a way to prove whether the system actually works or not. 

The president has said he doubts the legitimacy of absentee ballots being correctly distributed or counted if they are sent by mail.

“They are going to have to check their vote by going to the poll and voting that way because if it tabulates, then they won’t be able to do that,” he said. “So let them send it in, and let them go vote. And if their system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they will be able to vote.”

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