The Georgia State Election Board voted last week to continue an investigation into newly-elected Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., for his ties to a voter-registration group founded by Stacey Abrams.
Abrams’s New Georgia Project allegedly submitted 1,268 voter registration applications after the necessary deadline, causing voters to be disenfranchised in the March 2019 special election.
Warnock was the chairman of the organization at the time the group violated this election law, officials said.
“Election fraud is not tolerated in Georgia,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in a statement last week. “When there is evidence of it, the people responsible face prosecution.”
Raffensperger faced heavy criticism from former president Donald Trump after having capitulated to Abrams and allowed massive vote fraud in the November election.
Georgia also is reportedly pursuing a case against Trump over a conference call in which he allegedly tried to pressure Raffensperger to reverse the outcome in his favor.
Raffensperger leaked the secretly recorded call to the Washington Post instead, while insisting that the suspicious outcome was legitimate.
“Georgia has multiple safeguards in place that allow our team of investigators to discover fraudulent voting,” said his recent statement on the Warnock investigation. “They worked to catch the wrongdoing in these cases, and they maintain the security of Georgia elections.”
The New Georgia Project is also being investigated for allegedly trying to register “ineligible, out-of-state, or deceased voters,” ahead of the state’s Jan. 5 Senate run-off elections.
Raffensperger said the group even tried to send a voter registration effort to his deceased son.
“Here’s something that came to my house yesterday, we got three of them, all from the same organization and it’s to my son Brenton J. Raffensperger who passed away two years ago,” Raffensperger said.
“We’ve had additional information coming in regarding the tactics from these groups including the New Georgia Project sending five voter registrations to the same dead person, and sending applications to ineligible voters,” he added.
The case against Warnock and the New Georgia Project will now move to the state’s attorney general, who will decide whether to bring charges or seek fines against both parties.
Nsé Ufot, chief executive of the organization, defended its voter registration efforts and said the New Georgia Project has “not received any information on this matter from the Secretary of State or any other Georgia official.”
Warnock will face reelection in 2022, and could potentially face a challenge from former Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga..
Perdue, who lost his reelection bid to Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff during the Senate run-off elections, filed FEC documents this week to designate a “principal campaign committee” for “Perdue for Senate.”
Aides to Perdue said he has not yet made a decision on whether to challenge Warnock. But they added he is leaning toward launching a campaign.
Perdue will have to make a decision by March 1 and announce his campaign in April, an adviser told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., who lost to Warnock, and former Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., are also reportedly considering running against Warnock, but are both awaiting Perdue’s decision first.
Several other Republicans are considering joining the primary too, including Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and attorney Randy Evans.