Georgia Election Audit Reveals Even Less ‘Fraud’ Than Previously Thought

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Georgia investigators have uncovered significantly fewer instances of double voting than had been previously suggested to have potentially unfolded in the state during certain recent elections. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) said after the 2020 primaries in the state that well over 1,000 people may have voted twice, but preliminary discoveries have revealed that about 300 voters cast two ballots across the initial June primaries and August primary run-offs. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that the double votes were “almost always because of mistakes by confused voters and poll workers” — in other words, there remains no legitimate evidence of the kinds of systematic election fraud conspiracies that former President Trump has consistently claimed plague the country’s elections.

As for 129 people in South Georgia who were investigated for potentially voting twice in the 2020 general election, that didn’t turn up any evidence of widespread fraud either. Just four of those people were suspected by the State Election Board to have actually voted twice, and the Journal-Constitution notes that an “investigator reported to the board that those voters said they didn’t remember returning an absentee ballot or didn’t mean to break the law” — thus, there is no evidence of specifically systematic election fraud conspiracies here, either. It’s an outcome similar to what turned up after an investigation into Georgia ballots cast in the names of deceased voters. Trump has claimed that thousands of ballots in the names of deceased Georgia voters had been cast in the 2020 election… but just four such ballots were discovered, and all of them had been submitted to authorities by family members of the deceased individuals. No systematic election fraud here, either!

The investigation into potential instances of double voting in the 2020 Georgia primaries remains ongoing. Observers such as the government watchdog group American Oversight and the voting rights advocacy organization Fair Fight Action have characterized Raffensperger as overstating the significance of the double-voting problem. Discussing an email from Raffensperger’s general legal counsel that outlined how instances of double-voting had been tied to genuine confusion on voters’ parts rather than malicious intent, American Oversight Executive Director Austin Evers said that Raffensperger’s “comments were deeply irresponsible and could suggest an intent to scare people away from voting.” Fair Fight Action’s director of research and policy Esosa Osa added that Raffensperger is “trying to have it both ways by fueling this dangerous environment of disinformation that we find ourselves in today.”

Besides simple mistakes and confusion, technological hurdles were also tied to certain instances of problems. New tablets for checking in voters at polling places that were in use during the 2020 primaries were supposed to let poll workers know if voters already requested absentee ballots, but “human error” sometimes led to problems, according to Raffensperger’s team. Updates to the system were implemented following the June primaries. Meanwhile, Georgia Republicans have put a swiftly challenged set of new legal provisions governing the election process in place; these suppressive updates include sharp restrictions on the numbers of drop boxes for mail-in ballots that individual counties can have. Georgia counties can now have just one per early voting site or 100,000 registered voters, whichever number is smaller.