Secretary of State Launches Investigation into Possible Voter Fraud in HD 28
Following a series of accusations related to the race for House District 28, the Secretary of State’s Investigations Division is continuing to pursue an ongoing investigation into potential instances of voter fraud.
“Eliminating voter fraud is essential to strengthening the integrity of Georgia’s elections, which is why I am committed to fighting against crimes that undermine our most fundamental institutions and sow doubt in our communities,” said Secretary of State Brad Rafensberger. “Voter fraud has no place in Georgia’s elections, and my office will exhaust every avenue to investigate instances of abuse and prevent further injustice.”
Senior Superior Court Judge David Sweat has ordered a second redo election in response to evidence of voter fraud in the recent election for House District 28 conducted on December 4, 2018.
In making his ruling Friday, February 1, Sweat ruled that four votes in the December 4th Special Primary were illegal.
“The Court is persuaded that voters Burrell, Akers, Bower, and Franklin were allowed to vote when they lacked the proper qualifications to vote in the district or county in which they voted,” Judge Sweat ruled. “The Court is persuaded that there are a sufficient number of votes that were illegal such as to cast doubt on the outcome of the election, so the court is compelled to find that it must order a third election.”
Three of the votes that the Judge threw out were cast by voters living outside Habersham County or outside the 28th House District, but who still cast ballots in the Special Primary on December 4 using their old addresses.
In each case, attorneys for Dan Gasway were able to show that Akers, Bower, and Franklin had moved out of HD28 more than 30 days prior to the December 4 Special Primary.
Another voter, Michael Burrell, discovered someone had voted by absenee ballot two days before him using his name and address without his knowledge.
In that instance, Burrell testified that he went to vote early on November 30 at his poling place in Mt. Airy. When he signed his name, the poll worker told him he had already voted on the 28th. Burrell told the court he asked to see a copy of the ballot signature. When he was shown the absentee ballot of the November 28th voter, the signature was different from his.
Burrell told the court he was allowed to vote, but the fraudulent vote was counted, not his.
“Preventing electoral fraud is central to the mission of the Secretary of State’s office, and our investigators will continue their important work in guaranteeing free and fair elections for all of Georgia’s communities,” said Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs. “We look forward to a conclusive result for the voters of House District 28 and will assist in providing support to local elections officials as required.”
The third election to select the representative from House District 28 will not be set until a date is ordered by Judge Sweat.
On December 17 former HD28 Representative Dan Gasaway sued the Registrars and Boards of Election in Habersham, Banks and Stephens Counties citing at 68 instances of illegal voting in Habersham and Banks counties on December 4.
21 of those instances were presented in court the week of January 29 in Banks County. However, it was determined at the beginning of the hearing that no illegal voting or fraud had occurred in Stephens County during the second Special Primary election.