On Tuesday, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, said that 1,000 people voted twice in the state’s June 9 primary, which is classified as a felony, and he said they will likely be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
We reported two weeks ago that back in the June primary Long county discovered some people voted by mail and then voted in person. Now the whole state has been analyzed and it’s much worse than anyone thought.
These particular voters requested and sent in absentee ballots, then went and voted in person, a problem that repeated itself across one hundred Georgia counties, and election officials didn’t catch them in time to keep the second votes from being counted, Raffensperger said during a press conference outside the state Capitol.
“A double voter knows exactly what they’re doing, diluting the votes of each and every voter that follows the law,” Raffensperger said. “Those that make the choice to game the system are breaking the law. And as secretary of state, I will not tolerate it.”
It was not instantly clear whether or not the outcome of any races could have been affected, but the possibility that some were is real.
Raffensperger said investigators will hand their findings over to the state attorney general and local district attorneys for potential prosecution. Double voting is a felony and it is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $100,000.
About 150,000 people who voted by absentee ballot for this June primary traveled to their polling places and also voted in person. And 1,000 of them got away with it. Raffensperger said his office intends to investigate every case meticulously.
Raffensperger also said his office is working with county election officials to make sure that no double voting happens in the November general election. I’m here to tell you that it is nearly impossible to stop it in such a short amount of time. I have a quick fix solution that could work until they design a better system, but deputy secretary Jordan Fuchs dismissed my post on Mark Davis’ Facebook page where I commented about how the system should be. Davis was the man who did the initial analysis for Long Country that discovered multiple people voted twice. My comment to his post was the absentee voting database has to be synced up with the in-person voter database, so that when the absentee ballot is cast by a government worker, it triggers the in-person database to tell it that the voter has voted. It has to be done electronically without a human behind it. Right now, it’s not doing that, which is the only way they 1,000 people were able to get through. Human error allowed it to happen.
Can you imagine the ramifications of this for the November election nationwide? If less-than-honest people in other states realize this can be done, many will vote twice on November 3rd. I keep receiving emails about requesting a mail-in ballot, but I don’t trust my Democrat-run state government to make sure my vote will count. I will spend 12 hours standing in line to vote for Trump just to make sure he gets my vote.
Raffensperger’s argument is that the system is designed to prevent double-voting, but it depends on the humans working in it.
The way the system is designed is if a voter asks for an absentee ballot and then goes and shows up to vote in person on Election Day, the system flags them as having requested an absentee ballot. That’s great. But, then the poll worker is supposed to call the county election office to see if the absentee ballot has been received for that voter.
If the county election office confirms that their absentee ballot was received, the person shouldn’t be allowed to vote in person. If there isn’t a record of an absentee ballot having been received and cast, the voter is allowed to cast a ballot in person and the county election office is supposed to cancel the absentee ballot request so that the absentee ballot isn’t counted.
However, politics being what it is today, I wouldn’t trust any government employee to handle transactions like that. There’s too much at stake to leave in the hands of partisan government workers.
The answer is to design a system that automatically updates a central database that the voter voted by absentee ballot. Until that system is designed, the state can contract an IT firm to create a web service, or even an API (Advanced Programming Interface) that would sync data from the absentee database system to the general without any human involvement at all. It could be run every night or every hour, whatever the state decides.
If the poll worker doesn’t call the county election office for whatever reason, or he or she tries to call but no one answers, or if the county election office gets the message, but doesn’t cancel the absentee ballot request, that would allow double voting. They should at least explore my options, because this is going to be a train wreck for the November election in all 50 states.