Georgia elections chief to Florida man: Don’t move here to vote

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is investigating allegations that a lawyer in Florida said he was moving to Georgia to vote in the Jan. 5 Senate runoff election and urged others to do the same.

“Make no mistake, individuals who attempt to undermine the integrity of Georgia’s elections will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Raffensperger. “Those who move to Georgia just to vote in the Senate runoffs with no intention of staying are committing a felony that is punishable with jail time and hefty fines. They will be found, they will be investigated, and they will be punished.”

According to Raffensperger, during a Nov. 7 speech to the Bay County Florida Republican Party, Florida Attorney Bill Price allegedly said he was moving to Georgia and moving in with his brother in order to register to vote and cast a ballot in the Jan. 5 Senate runoff elections. He exhorted those in attendance to be “his roommate in Georgia” and also register to vote in the state.

The Secretary of State’s office has launched an investigation of Price’s actions. Officials say he did attempt to register to vote fraudulently, but his registration is still in pending status.

Raffensperger has issued warnings repeatedly against individuals looking to move to Georgia solely to cast ballots in the Senate runoffs. Raffensperger recently announced investigations into third-party organizations soliciting registrations from dead or out-of-state voters. He has also warned that groups that are looking to help others move to Georgia to vote fraudulently could possibly be prosecuted as well.

Georgia law requires that registrants be “a resident of this state and of the county or municipality in which he or she seeks to vote,”and that “the residence of any person shall be held to be in that place in which such person’s habitation is fixed, without any present intention of removing therefrom.” According to Raffensperger, this would include individuals who move to Georgia solely for the sake of casting a ballot in an election with no intention of remaining in the state.

False registration is a felony and can be punished by between one and 10 years in prison, and up to a $100,000 fine.

Any individual or group who organizes or finances efforts to bring individuals to Georgia to register falsely as voters may also potentially be charged with felony racketeering under state law.

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