'A warning' against fraud: Georgia sends letters to thousands of out-of-state voters who asked for absentee ballots

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger sent letters to some 8,000 out-of-state voters who requested ballots for the Senate runoff elections, warning of legal consequences for those who try to “game the system.”

“Qualified Georgians and only Georgians are allowed to vote in our elections,” Raffensperger said in a news release. “I have said many times that I will not tolerate out of state voters attempting to undermine the integrity of the vote in Georgia.”

Not all of those out of state who requested an absentee ballot would be considered illegal votes because some Georgians may be temporarily out of state for a variety of legitimate reasons, such as college students or military members stationed elsewhere. Despite that, Raffensperger took a firm stand to quell the potential for fraud given President Trump’s accusations of voting fraud in the Georgia general election, which have not held up in court and have been criticized by the state.

“Let this be a warning to anyone looking to come to Georgia temporarily to cast a ballot in the runoffs or anyone who has established residence in another state but thinks they can game the system: we will find you and we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law,” the secretary of state said.

The news release pointed out the stiff penalties for violating voting laws, including up to 10 years in jail and a $100,000 fine. Raffensperger also encouraged residents to report any suspicions of voter fraud so they can be investigated.

Following the Nov. 3 election, Raffensperger, a Republican, became the target of members of his own party after he asserted that there was no widespread voter fraud in Georgia’s election. Trump has repeatedly berated his former ally, Gov. Brian Kemp, for not working to reverse President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the Peach State.

“Governor @BrianKempGA and his puppet @GeoffDuncanGA, together with the Secretary of State of Georgia, are very slow on Signature Verification, and won’t allow Fulton County to be examined. What are these RINOS hiding? We will easily win Presidential State race,” Trump tweeted on Monday morning.

Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are facing off against Democratic challengers Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively. A recent poll found that both Republicans lead Warnock and Ossoff, with 51% to 48% support.

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