— Madison Journal Today, April 27, 2020 —
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has created an Absentee Ballot Fraud Task Force “to ensure no one undermines the integrity of the vote in Georgia during this time of crisis.”
“Secretary Raffensperger has selected experts in election administration, investigation, and prosecution from around the state of Georgia to demonstrate that he takes voter fraud concerns seriously,” a press release from the Secretary of State’s office stated. “As Georgia goes through a time of upheaval and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary Raffensperger will fight aggressively to provide Georgians with a vote that is secure, safe and reliable.”
Raffensperger said the task force features some of the state’s premier law enforcement experts, who will assist the office as it investigates any allegations or instances of potential voter fraud.
“The integrity of the voting process is the bedrock of our democracy, and we will work tirelessly to ensure it is not violated,” said Raffensperger.
The state elections officials said the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the people of Georgia and the country to rethink how they live their daily lives. “Though around 95 percent of Georgians have voted in person in the past, the realities of COVID-19 will likely result in significantly more Georgians submitting absentee ballots by mail,” he said. “Vote by absentee ballot is a great option during this time of crisis, but this significant change requires extra effort to preserve the integrity of the vote in Georgia. An increase in voting by mail brings with it the potential for increased voter fraud and ballot harvesting, both of which are against the law in Georgia.”
Those on the task force include U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia Bobby Christine, Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit District Attorney Shannon Wallace, Clayton Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tasha Mosley, Cordele Judicial Circuit District Attorney Brad Rigby, Dougherty Judicial Circuit District Attorney Greg Edwards, Hall County Solicitor General Stephanie Woodard, Cobb County Solicitor General Barry Morgan, Mountain Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Rosanna M. Szabo, Jackson County Elections Supervisor Jennifer Logan and Glynn County Elections Supervisor Chris Channell.
The task force will be led by Frances Watson, Chief Investigator in the Secretary of State’s office and assisted by Chris Harvey, Elections Director in the Secretary of State’s office.