As many as 1,000 Georgians double-voted in the Peach State’s June 9 primary using absentee ballots, a felony that is punishable by up to a decade in prison, state authorities announced Tuesday.
The revelation comes as President Trump warns of widespread voter fraud ahead of the November election, which he believes could happen through the mass harvesting of mail-in ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said 1,000 voters returned absentee ballots before turning up at the polling booth to vote on election day, according to a report by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Approximately 150,000 people who requested absentee ballots still showed up at polling booths, either because they never received a paper ballot or changed their mind about voting in person, the report said.
Another 1.5 million Georgians cast absentee votes.
There has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud through mail-in voting, even in states with all-mail votes.
Double-voting didn’t change the outcome of any races in the primary, Raffensperger said, and absentee voting has been rare in Georgia in recent years, an AJC investigation found.
But that number has exploded due to public health concerns from COVID-19, from 5 percent in previous elections to 50 percent in this year’s primary.
“A double voter knows exactly what they’re doing, diluting the votes of each and every voter that follows the law,” Raffensperger said during a press conference.
“Those that make the choice to game the system are breaking the law. And as secretary of state, I will not tolerate it.”
Local prosecutors and the Georgia attorney general’s office will now decide if they will bring charges against the people who voted twice, with double-voting in Georgia a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $100,000.
President Trump has suggested delaying the election and warned it could be the most inaccurate in history if officials are swamped with an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots.
In the Empire State’s presidential primary, more than 80,000 absentee ballots were also disqualified for arriving late, lacking a postmark, failing to include a voter’s signature or other defects.