More than 350,000 Georgia voters could have their eligibility challenged before Senate runoffs

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says he will not tolerate people living outside of Georgia voting in the Georgia elections.

Updated: December 23, 2020 - 9:24am

Election watchdog group True the Vote is working with the Georgia Republican Party to challenge the eligibility of more than 350,000 Georgia voters ahead of the state's two Senate runoff elections in January.

Focusing on questions about voters who have filed change of address forms with the U.S. Postal Service, the group is encouraging Republicans in counties across the state to file voter challenges with their local election boards.

In several counties, including Floyd, Athens-Clarke, Cobb and Gwinnett, complaints have already been submitted to election boards. Some have been rejected, but others are currently being reviewed by county attorneys. 

In Floyd County, the complaint letters challenge the voting status of anyone who had filed a change of address form in the state of Georgia. Voters on that list may now be required to use provisional ballots, if they show up to vote at the polls.

The use of provisional ballots, in this case, would prevent those votes from being counted until election officials verify the residence of the voter. The burden of proof lies with the challenger, however individuals may be asked to provide information that proves their votes are valid and legal.

True the Vote, a Texas-based organization, has received backlash for its actions in Georgia ahead of the runoffs. Sean Young, an ACLU of Georgia attorney called the practice "voter caging," and said it's "one of the oldest tricks in the voter suppression playbook."

"It's unsurprising that political operatives would pull this out in the middle of a contentious election," he said.

Catherine Engelbrecht, True the Vote's president, defended her group's actions. "Everyone across the country is raising their eyebrows about election integrity," she said. "There was no effort to do anything other than get good accurate voter lists in place for the coming election."

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger recently said he has no tolerance for individuals residing outside of Georgia attempting to impact the vote in his state.

"I will not tolerate out-of-state voters attempting to undermine the integrity of the vote in Georgia," said Raffensperger, who has come under fire from President Trump for relaxing election integrity safeguards in the state. "Let this be a warning to anyone looking to come to Georgia temporarily to cast a ballot or anyone who has established residence in another state but thinks they can game the system." 

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