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A Statement from Secretary of State Kemp Regarding the Investigation of The New Georgia Project and Third Sector Development
Atlanta- “In recent weeks there have been multiple reports in the media regarding the Office of the Secretary of State’s investigation into The New Georgia Project and Third Sector Development, some containing false information. I am issuing the following information in order to set the record straight. Yesterday, the State Elections Board unanimously affirmed our intent to fully investigate these possible criminal violations. We will vigorously and thoroughly investigate this and any situation involving possible voter registration fraud. I was elected as Georgia’s Secretary of State to ensure secure, accessible and fair elections. I will never retreat from that constitutional duty and obligation.”
Brian P. Kemp
Georgia Secretary of State
Claim: The New Georgia project “flagged” the 25 fraudulent voter registration forms that have been confirmed as forgeries and delivered them to the Office of the Secretary of State.
Fact: Each and every one of the confirmed forgeries came to the Investigations Division from county elections officials. The New Georgia Project did not self-report any of the 25 confirmed forged voter registration forms.
Claim: The Office of the Georgia Secretary of State is refusing to process 51,000 voter registration applications.
Fact: The Office of the Secretary of State does not process any voter registration applications. Applications are processed at the county level. (OCGA 21-2-226) Any voter registration application that is received by the Office of the Secretary of State is sent to the local county election office within 24 hours. Currently, there is absolutely no backlog of applications waiting to be sent to the counties. Any backlog would need to be addressed by county election officials. The deadline for voter registration is October 6th in order to participate in the November 4th General Election.
Claim: This issue has been fully investigated and only minor problems were found.
Fact: This investigation has only just begun. The State Election Board meeting yesterday was held to reaffirm a subpoena issued to continue investigating this possibly criminal situation. The presence of confirmed forgeries is not the conclusion, but rather only the beginning of this investigation.
Claim: The New Georgia Project has submitted 85,000 voter registration forms and only 25 have been confirmed as forgeries by the Office of the Secretary of State.
Fact: The confirmation of 25 forged voter registration applications warranted an expansive investigation and that is why a subpoena was issued to the New Georgia Project. The claim that The New Georgia Project has submitted 85,000 voter registration applications has no bearing on this investigation. Each instance of forgery can result in multiple felonies and the Office of the Secretary of State has a constitutional obligation to pursue every illegal act to the full extent of the law. (OCGA 21-2-31; 21-2-50)
Claim: The Office of the Secretary of State “targeted” The New Georgia Project.
Fact: Each and every complaint regarding The New Georgia Project originated at the county level. At no time did the Investigations Division within the Office of the Secretary of State seek out any information without the specific request of a county. These complaints were investigated in the same manner that any and all complaints received by this Office have been handled in the past.
Claim: Secretary Kemp is trying to impede voter registration.
Fact: Secretary Kemp has worked hard to make voter registration as easy as possible. Since March 30th of this year, Georgians with a Georgia driver’s license have been able to register to vote 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online or using the “GA Votes” mobile app on their smartphone. At no time in the history has it been easier to register to vote in Georgia than it is right now.
Claim: Forged signatures are not a cause for alarm.
Fact: Forged signatures can disenfranchise voters and lead to possible identity theft. The SOS investigation has confirmed multiple instances where citizen’s personal identifying information, including social security numbers, dates of birth and driver’s license numbers have been released to a private group without their consent or knowledge.