Election 2020, News

Claims Of Widespread Voter Fraud In Georgia Are ‘Unlikely,’ State Official Says

Gabe Sterling with the secretary of state's office says illegal votes will be found, but says they are unlikely to affect the outcome of the presidential race.
Gabe Sterling with the secretary of state's office says illegal votes will be found, but says they are unlikely to affect the outcome of the presidential race.
Credit Emil Moffatt/WABE
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The Georgia secretary of state’s office says it continues to look into every complaint of voter fraud but that so far, it has found little evidence that it happened on a widespread basis.

“Every single one that comes in, we’re going to investigate, we’re going to track it down,” said Gabe Sterling. “It doesn’t mean anything happened, it didn’t mean anything didn’t happen. What we have to find is evidence of something happening.”

Counties continue wrapping up counts of provisional and overseas ballots. Friday was the final day for overseas and military ballots to arrive and for voters to cure their provisional or rejected absentee ballots.

Forty-seven of Georgia’s 159 counties have certified their election as of Monday. Counties have until Friday to do so, but the secretary of state’s office says it is encouraging them to do it faster so that it can move forward with a mandatory risk-limiting audit. Once those two things are complete, either candidate can request a recount because the vote difference is within 0.5%.

The Associated Press declared Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential race late Saturday morning. President Donald Trump has not conceded.

Republicans Offer Scant Evidence of Fraud

Some Republicans, led by President Trump, have alleged widespread voter fraud in Georgia – especially with mail-in ballots, which favored Biden by a 2-to-1 margin statewide. But they continue to provide very little evidence of it actually occurring.

Sterling says that every election is imperfect, and the state will see evidence of some illegally cast votes.

“There are going to be double voters. There are going to be people who did not have the qualifications of a registered voter to vote in this state. That will be found. Is it 10,353? Unlikely,” said Sterling, referring to Biden’s latest lead in the Georgia vote count.

Voters in Georgia must present a government-issued ID to vote in person. A voter’s signature on an absentee ballot must match their absentee ballot application and voter registration card. The state also removed more than 300,000 inactive voters from its list last year as a part of routine maintenance, including 45,000 in Fulton County.

“Illegal voting is going to happen,” said Sterling. “It’s a minor part of this thing, and we’re putting every safeguard we can get to make sure it doesn’t happen now or in the future.”