A state investigation debunked former President Donald Trump’s claim that thousands of dead voters cast ballots in Georgia’s 2020 presidential election, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The State Election Board’s investigation found just four absentee ballots in the election from voters who had died, all of them returned by relatives.
The board reviewed dozens of allegations but “almost all voters were found to be alive,” according to the report. The board referred the four cases it found to the state attorney general’s office.
Trump repeatedly claimed that there were 5,000 dead voters in Georgia’s election with no evidence.
The investigation is the latest to debunk his baseless election conspiracy theories after three vote counts showed he lost the state by 12,000 votes and numerous investigations found no widespread fraud or irregularities.
In one case, a 74-year-old widow cast a ballot for her husband after he died two months before the election.
“He was going to vote Republican, and she said, ‘Well, I’m going to cancel your ballot because I’m voting Democrat.’ It was kind of a joke between then,” her attorney told the board. “She received the absentee ballot and carried out his wishes. ... She now realizes that was not the thing to do.”
Another woman told investigators that she and her daughter cast her late husband’s ballot after he died several months before the election.
In another case, a signature of a voter who had died matched that of her mother, who also died a month before the election.
Another widow interviewed by investigators said she filled out her late husband’s ballot because she knew how he wanted to vote.
If the attorney general pursues the cases, the State Election Board can levy fines between $100 and $5,000.
Calls for accountability:
Georgia election officials argued that there should be consequences for submitting a dead voter’s ballot even if it was a mistake.
“Remorse is something we hear a lot, and it’s something I appreciate because sometimes we do make these mistakes unknowingly,” said State Election Board member Ahn Le. “However, the law is what it is.”
But election officials say the investigation also underscores that there were no major problems with the state’s elections.
“What I tell people is what really happened in Georgia, because we proved that none of that was what happened,” said Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.