True the Vote has submitted 364,541 written Elector Challenges on behalf of voters in Georgia, representing all 159 counties.
News of the challenge came in a press release in which the organization defined the challenge as a “unique feature in Georgia law,” identified as GA. CODE ANN. § 21-2-230.
According to True the Vote, the law “allows a voter to challenge the eligibility of any other voters in his or her county if probable cause exists to show that the challenged voter does not meet the qualifications legally required to cast a ballot.” In addition, it “represents one of the few vehicles that states have to update voter rolls ahead of an election without compromising any legitimate voters’ right to have their vote counted.”
“Ongoing debates about the November election throughout the country have Americans focused intently on improving the integrity of our elections and restoring the faith of voters. Today we assisted concerned Georgia voters in taking a stand for the sanctity of every legal vote,” said True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht.
“It is our hope that this historic challenge marks the beginning of the great awakening of American voters to serve our democracy by getting involved in the process,” she added, further noting their efforts:
We are proud to be working alongside patriots from across the Peach State; Derek Somerville of Forsyth county and Mark Davis of Gwinnett county who have been leading citizen efforts to highlight issues in Georgia’s voter rolls, Mark Williams of Gwinnett County who coordinated among eight print shops to get written challenges printed and delivered within 48 hours, and Ron Johnson of Jackson County and James Cooper of Walton County, who led the charge in recruiting hundreds of volunteer challengers across the state. Everyone pitched in. This is the power of citizen engagement and the core of what True the Vote exists to do in our pursuit of free, fair and secure elections.
The challenge comes after True the Vote’s voter registry research “identified 124,114 registered voters who no longer reside in the county of record and 240,427 voters who no longer reside in the state of Georgia, according to filings with the United States Postal Service National Change of Address (NCOA) and other supporting commercial databases.”
“Filing the challenges preemptively, before absentee ballots are opened, will help ensure only legal, eligible votes are counted in Georgia’s Jan. 5 runoff elections,” Engelbrecht added.
True the Vote’s press release also noted that, according to Georgia law, an “Elector Challenge must be filed before a vote is cast. Once a vote has been cast, or in the case of absentee ballots, once the ballot has been removed from its signed envelope, there is no way to identify which ballot belongs to the ineligible party.”
The organization also stated that an “Elector Challenge does not remove voter names from the registry” and that “voters who have been challenged will have the opportunity, via GA. CODE ANN. § 21-2-230 to prove eligibility and still have their vote counted in the upcoming runoff election.”
The respective runoff elections between Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and Raphael Warnock and between Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and Jon Ossoff have been set for January 5 in the Peach State. In-person early voting began on Monday.