With U.S. Senate Runoffs Near, Georgia’s Not Prosecuting Its Unprecedented Number of Double Voters

With U.S. Senate Runoffs Near, Georgia’s Not Prosecuting Its
Unprecedented Number of Double Voters 1

Guest post by Paul Sperry at
Real Clear Investigations

More than 1,700 Georgians were singled out for illegally casting
two ballots in 2020 elections — including last month’s hotly
contested presidential race — but their fraudulent votes
weren’t canceled out, according to state election officials. And
so far, none of the cheaters has been prosecuted, raising concerns
about continued fraud as Georgia prepares to vote again in twin
U.S. Senate runoff elections next month.

The majority of double voters were Democrats who cast an
absentee ballot either by mail or drop box and also voted in person
on Election Day, officials said, which is a felony under state

The highest share of offenders were from Fulton County, which
includes Atlanta — many of whom were allowed to cast a second
ballot by poll workers, officials said.

Hundreds of workers assigned to county poll sites were recruited
and trained by the Democrat-run Georgia chapter of the ACLU and a
minority-owned temp agency run by Democrat donors, according to
documents obtained by RealClearInvestigations. Most of them were
young and inexperienced.

Before the election, the ACLU urged anyone “threatened with
prosecution” over double-voting allegations to contact the
chapter for legal assistance. It is now signing up poll workers for
the Jan. 5 runoff races. And the temp agency, Happy Faces Personnel
Group, remains under contract with the county to supply workers for
that critical election, despite complaints from poll managers and
poll watchers that its recruits were “poorly trained” and
“highly partisan.” The Georgia runoffs will determine control
of the Senate.

Though the number of suspected double-voting felons is the
largest in state history, RealClearInvestigations has learned that
no cases have been referred to the state attorney general for
criminal investigation.

“This office does not have any referrals on double voting
cases so far from the State Election Board related to the June 2020
primary or November 2020 general [election],” said Katie Byrd,
spokesperson for Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, a

The lack of action undercuts Georgia Secretary of State Brad
Raffensperger’s promise last month “to prosecute those who try
to undermine our elections to the fullest extent of the law.”

Fraud cases are referred to the attorney general by the election
board, which is chaired by Raffensperger, a Republican who has
taken heat from President Trump for not doing more to investigate
claims of fraud in the Nov. 3 election.

Some local officials had hoped at least some double voters would
be prosecuted and made examples of ahead of the Senate runoffs next
month to deter other cheaters from committing fraud.

“I am terribly disappointed in the lack of enforcement of our
election laws,” said Forsyth County Commissioner Dennis Brown, a
Republican. “We are asking for the same outcome in January during
the runoffs if something is not done soon.”

Raffensperger faced a backlash from liberal voting-rights groups
over his warnings about fraud following the June primary, when more
than 150,000 voters tried to vote twice but reportedly were
unsuccessful. (The system is supposed to catch double-voters, but
at least 1,000 still slipped through safeguards.) The groups, led
by Democratic activist Stacey Abrams’ well-funded Fair Fight
Action, have maintained that claims of fraud could have a chilling
effect on absentee voting and effectively suppress black voters in
the state who disproportionately prefer that method of voting.

Some local election officials believe Raffensperger is afraid of
being labeled “racist” by Abrams, who is suing him for
allegedly “disenfranchising” voters of color in the state.

“I am not sure the secretary of state has the backbone for
this,” Fulton County poll manager Suzi Voyles said. “We have
turned in thousands of unlawful voters and not one of them has been

Brown agreed that Raffensperger may be out of his depth, noting
that “this is his first political office.”

“He is a little bit afraid, politically, and buckled a little
more than he should have to Abrams, who’s trying to stir up
racial discord,” he said. “That’s why he printed up all those
absentee ballot [request] forms and sent them to people who
hadn’t asked for them — which was just a terrible action,
because it creates all kinds of problems with double voting and
other fraud — and that’s why he agreed to install all those
drop boxes, which just opens the door for illegal ballot

Raffensperger’s office declined an on-the-record

Pressured by Abrams and other voting-rights activists,
Raffensperger agreed to mail out absentee ballot applications and
install ballot drop-off boxes in Georgia’s 159 counties. As a
result, absentee voting skyrocketed across the state. Both the
primary and general elections drew historic numbers of absentee

Some poll watchers blame the push to make absentee voting easier
during the coronavirus pandemic for the surge in double-voting.
Double voters typically mailed in or dropped off ballots before
Election Day and then also showed up to vote in person and were
allowed to vote despite being flagged in the system. Others voted
in person first, then dropped an absentee ballot in one of the drop
boxes later that day, bypassing system safeguards.

“The one thing that the system cannot safeguard against with
the new drop boxes is voters who go through the steps saying they
did not request an absentee ballot, vote at the polls, and then
later that day drop a ballot in the absentee box before 7 p.m.,”
Voyles warned.

Despite such concerns, the boxes are being used again for next
month’s runoffs. Absentee voting has already begun in the Senate
races, which pit GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler against Democratic hopeful
Raphael Warnock and Republican Sen. David Perdue against Democratic
challenger Jon Ossoff. Democrats hope to win both contests to take
control of the 100-seat Senate with 50 seats and Democratic Vice
President Kamala Harris as a tie-breaker.

An investigation by Raffensperger’s office revealed that at
least 1,042 people knowingly voted twice in the June primary, with
60% of them using Democratic Party ballots. Another 294 voted twice
in the August runoff election. Two-thirds of the combined 1,366
double votes were votes by absentee.

Hundreds more broke the law again on Nov. 3. Results are
preliminary, but investigators so far have found at least 400 cases
of double voting in the presidential race. These fraudulent votes
were not canceled. It’s unclear whether they favored Joe Biden or
President Trump due to the secrecy of ballots. Raffensperger
officially called Georgia and its 16 electoral votes for Biden last
week after a third recount showed him with a razor-thin lead of
11,769 votes.

Voting twice is a felony punishable by one to 10 years in prison
and a fine of up to $100,000. Proving intentionality is not
required under Georgia law. Yet none of the total 1,736 confirmed
cases of double-voting has been referred for prosecution, even
though some cheaters were overheard bragging about violating the

The secretary of state’s investigations office is still
fielding reports from precincts and complaints from poll watchers,
so the figure may rise substantially. Details are unclear about the
total number of people who showed up at the polls on Nov. 3 despite
having cast an absentee ballot by mail or drop box, but the number
is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands. Investigators are
confident that in most cases, people who’d already cast their
vote were flagged by the system. They may have tried to vote again,
but were turned away. The full number of those who were nonetheless
allowed to vote in person remains an open question, however.

Before 2020, the most repeat voting complaints came in 2008,
when 10 cases were investigated in Georgia. In this election, more
Georgians than ever before requested an absentee ballot after
Raffensperger made it easier to vote absentee. Many poll watchers
had warned that providing more voting options would create more
ways to cheat.

Although Raffensperger would not comment, a senior state
election official defended his record by noting that double-voting
might have been worse in the general election if he hadn’t
publicly denounced the fraud that took place during the

He said the secretary of state’s office has put safeguards in
place to ensure everyone’s vote is counted just once in the Jan.
5 election. He did not specify what procedures have changed other
than improving training for election workers to make sure they
properly follow procedures for canceling absentee ballots when
voters show up in person.

“As long as human beings are involved, no election is going to
be perfect,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of
anonymity. “If an election worker ignores or just doesn’t see
the indication that a voter has already cast a ballot and lets them
vote anyway, there’s really nothing we can do but investigate the
person who cast the double vote who would know they’re double
voting and are committing a felony.”

Voyles, who has been helping manage polls in Fulton County for
20 years, complained that Democratic county officials entrusted the
ACLU of Georgia with training election workers in how to screen out
voters trying to cast two ballots. She noted that the ACLU chapter
is a political activist group that appears more interested in
defending people who vote twice than stopping them and reporting
them to authorities.

Before the presidential election, the state’s ACLU chapter
urged anyone “threatened with prosecution” over double-voting
allegations to contact them for “legal assistance.”

“The ACLU of Georgia invites anyone threatened with
prosecution for allegedly voting two times in the primary election
to request legal assistance by contacting the organization as soon
as possible,” according to a Sept. 8 press release.

Despite the potential conflict, Voyles said a lawyer trained by
the ACLU was put in charge of policing double-voting at her

“I was not happy the ACLU was there,” Voyles said. “I do
not trust them.”

In fact, Fulton County allowed the ACLU to station lawyers at
each of its 255 polling sites, replacing poll managers and
overriding normal county procedures for catching absentee voters
who show up at polls. This “new policy” was designed to
“simplify” the process.

Fulton County was not alone. All told, the ACLU recruited,
trained and deployed more than 2,700 election workers at polls
across the state on Nov. 3. It also helped recruit
“technicians” to help operate and “troubleshoot“ the
machines of Dominion Voting Systems. ACLU recruiters targeted
younger Georgians for the election work, many of whom had no
previous experience checking in voters, and put them through a
special training program separate from the county’s.

“Don’t think of yourself as ‘inexperienced,’ “ an ACLU
organizer told recruits in an Oct. 8 training session, according to
notes from the meeting. “Prepare to walk in and take a leadership
role, even as a first-time poll worker.”

In a guide for Georgia poll workers, the ACLU came close to
encouraging double-voting: “Voters can cast a regular in-person
ballot even if they requested an absentee ballot.” The chapter
also facilitated absentee voting by listing the locations of all
the drop boxes in the state, including some 36 drop boxes installed
in Fulton County.

Poll workers are supposed to verify if a walk-in’s absentee
ballot has already been received. If such a voter shows up at the
polls after requesting an absentee ballot, poll workers must cancel
the ballot electronically and have the voter sign an affidavit
swearing he or she will not send it in. And they are supposed to
turn away anyone who already voted absentee and then shows up in

But in hundreds of cases in Georgia, poll workers issued voter
access cards to people who had already voted absentee, ignoring
status messages that appeared on their electronic Poll Pads
indicating that they had applied for an absentee ballot.

Records show the ACLU of Georgia is financially supported by
Abrams’ group and run by Andrea Young, a civil-rights activist
and Democrat who served as chief of staff to former Rep. Cynthia
McKinney, D-Ga. A former Planned Parenthood official, Young last
month urged voters to elect politicians who support abortion rights
and lower sentences for black convicts, among other things.

“The voting has ended. The counting has begun. Now, the next
phase of our work begins: Protect the right to reproductive
freedom. Reform our criminal legal system,” she wrote on the
local ACLU website the day after the presidential election. “We
vote to elect officials who will pursue policies to promote civil

Young does not count Trump among those officials. In a local
newspaper interview after Trump took office, she slammed the new
president for proposing policies she said “infringe on civil

Her ACLU chapter supports the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
In a page on its website titled,
it states: “At
the ACLU of Georgia, we have redoubled our efforts to support the
voices of the unheard and fight systemic racism in its many forms.
Join the movement. Black Lives Matter.”

The ACLU of Georgia did not respond to requests for comment. But
a document outlining its recruitment program said it “worked to
recruit and prepare qualified poll workers.”

“We are now preparing poll workers for runoff elections in
Georgia on Jan. 5,” it added.

Voyles doubts the ACLU-trained workers and monitors had much
incentive to enforce election rules. Judging from their training
materials, she may have a point.

“Never tell someone that they can’t vote,” the ACLU
organizer told recruits in the Oct. 8 training session.

In the same meeting, recruits were advised that their working at
the polls was “one of the most impactful ways to effect change in
the 2020 election cycle.”

In addition to the ACLU recruits, more than 340 poll workers —
including those screening absentee voters, counting votes,
canvassing votes, auditing votes and even supervising poll workers
— were contracted over to Fulton County through a minority-owned
temp agency that doesn’t specialize in recruiting or training
election workers.

Many of the temps from the agency — Tucker, Ga.-based Happy
Faces — were described as partisan, inexperienced and poorly
trained by poll managers and monitors who worked alongside

The “statewide contract” for Happy Faces’ 2020 election
staffing was valued at almost $7 million, according to Fulton
County documents. The Fulton deal was approved by Robb Pitts, the
Democratic chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners.
Listed as contract administrator for Happy Faces was chief
financial officer and staffing manager Edwina Berry Hairston, who
appears in Federal Election Commission records as a Democratic

Phone calls and emails to Fulton County went unanswered. But
county officials explained in a 2019 document to the commissioners
board that they needed to hire Happy Faces because staffing the
polls in 2020 would be a “time-consuming effort,” and Happy
Faces could “cut out the work by handling everything from
recruitment, background checks, orientation, payroll and other
processes for our deadline-driven election calendar.” They
assured the board that approving the contract for Happy Faces would
result in “a successful conduct of the upcoming 2020 presidential

But some Fulton County poll managers and watchers were not happy
with the election-related tasks they performed, noting that Happy
Faces workers were often rude, incompetent and openly discussed
politically sensitive topics.

“The workers from this temp organization employed by Fulton
County have no experience, and there are some who are incompetent.
And many are highly partisan,” said Garland Favorito, a certified
poll watcher who runs, one of the leading advocates for
election integrity in the state.

Added Voyles: “We had an issue with Happy Faces temps, who
were given managerial responsibilities but had never worked in any
election at all. Their training was inadequate. They were even
instructed to ignore basic Georgia law and allow people from other
counties or precincts to vote [in her Fulton County

Happy Faces, which does not list elections work among the areas
of “top talent” it provides, did not respond to requests for
comment. But a brochure on its website maintains that it is
“dedicated to consistently surpassing service performance

The temp agency is under contract to also staff polls for the
Jan. 5 runoffs.

Byrd, the state attorney general’s spokesperson, said that
although the AG is not currently prosecuting any of the 1,736 known
cases of double-voting in the 2020 election cycle, he is
investigating two individuals who allegedly voted twice in the
November 2016 general election.

In both cases, she said, voters knowingly took advantage of
glitches or poll worker errors to cast a second ballot in the

“Right now, we are processing two double-voting cases from the
2016 cycle. They were referred to this office around Sept. 10,”
she said. “I cannot share more on those matters at this time as
they’re considered active.”

RealClearInvestigations has learned through other sources that
one case involves a female government worker from Putnam County,
who allegedly cast a ballot twice, once on Oct. 31, 2016, and again
on Nov. 2, 2016. The other case involves a male voter from Murray
County, Ga., who allegedly took advantage of a system error that
missed his mailed ballot and voted again in person after he was
issued access by a poll worker on Election Day. Because the voters
have not yet been charged, RCI is withholding their names.

Local critics say it’s outrageous state election officials
have not even referred any of the hundreds of known cases of
double-voting cheaters from the 2020 cycle to prosecutors for
criminal investigation.

“After the primary elections, Raffensperger announced that his
office identified 1,000 people who voted twice in the primary. He
promised that they would be prosecuted for voter fraud,” said Don
Cole, a former speech writer for U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny
Perdue, a cousin of Senator Perdue. “I must have missed the
announcements of arrests, indictments, trials, or

“Before the primary we all received firm assurances that the
system was so secure that it was impossible to vote twice.
Apparently 1,000 people figured out how to get through that
security in the primary election,” Cole added. “I guess that
they were just warming up for November.”

The post
With U.S. Senate Runoffs Near, Georgia’s Not Prosecuting Its
Unprecedented Number of Double Voters
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