Saturday May 25th, 2024 3:16AM

Georgia Secretary of State asks law enforcement to investigate noncitizen voting

To hear Brad Raffensperger's interview on WDUN's "Newsroom," click the player at left.

Almost 1,700 noncitizens who attempted to register to vote in Georgia have been referred to local district attorneys and the GBI for possible prosecution.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Monday the noncitizens were discovered during a citizenship review of the state's voter rolls. None of the 1,634 people who tried to register illegally ever made it to the voter database, and none ever cast a ballot.

"We want to make sure that if they are noncitizens, we want to know why they tried to register," Raffensperger said. "And then they need to face the full fury of the law. It's a serious felony. … And it's done so that people know that we really take it serious in Georgia, that only the only American citizens should be voting in the state of Georgia."

A person convicted of attempting to register to vote illegally is subject to up to 10 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.

A state law already exists that bans registered to vote illegally. But Raffensperger said a constitutional amendment, voted on by the public, is needed. He pointed to some cities, like New York City, that have recently passed legislation that will allow noncitizens to vote in local elections.

"Laws can change, but constitutions are more difficult," he said.

A bill calling for a vote on an amendment was defeated in the just-ended General Assembly session, but Raffensperger said he will continue to push for the amendment, which was part of his campaign platform when he first ran in 2018.

Polls show overwhelming support for a citizens-only voting amendment. More than 80 percent of Georgians support it. That includes 93 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of Democrats.

Of the 1,634 noncitizens who attempted to register to vote, 17 of them were in Hall County. Raffensperger said he would refer those 17 to Hall County District Attorney Lee Darragh.

Raffensperger made his comments during an appearance Monday afternoon on WDUN's "Newsroom."

 

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: voter registration, constitutional amendment, Brad Raffensperger, noncitizen voting
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