I-Team: Secretary of State finds most double votes in metro area but no widespread voting fraud
ATLANTA - A FOX 5 I-Team investigation of double voting election data found the highest number of double votes took place in Metro Atlanta and most of those double votes involved absentee ballots.
Also, in statewide partisan elections, 60% of those double votes were Democratic ballots; 40% were Republicans.
“It was a perfect storm,” said Cobb County Elections Director Janine Eveler.
Eveler says June's election had everything gowrong that could go wrong.
New voting system, election postponements due to COVID, multiple ballots, and a pandemic that encouraged thousands of voters to turn to absentee ballots.
“Honestly that was ten worst election I've ever experienced,” said Eveler.
Earlier, the FOX 5 I-team reported that Long County Probate Judge Bobby Smith challenged his election defeat in June after learning about a number of absentee ballot issues including a half a dozen people who voted twice.
One voter even admitted to the I-Team that he voted twice.
“The reason I done that was just to prove a point. It's not set up right,” said Long county resident Hamilton Evans.
Not long after our report, Georgia Secretary of state Brad Raffensperger announced his office found more than 1,000 people in 127 different counties who voted twice.
“Let me be clear it is a felony to double vote in Georgia. And we prosecute,” said Raffensperger.
Troubling that anyone would double vote, but still a tiny percentage of more than two million votes cast during last June and August's elections.
Now, the I-Team has obtained details of those 1336 double votes from the Secretary of State's office. One hundred and twenty-seven counties had issues. But, Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cobb and Clayton accounted for some 40% of all double votes.
“I am a little bit puzzled and we are going to have to look at what went wrong,” said Eveler.
Janine Eveler says she had no idea Cobb county had a total of 40 double votes cast during the two elections until we told her. Nearly all of Cobb's double votes included an absentee ballot. For five couples, both voted twice.
Eveler is now investigating, but points to confusion by first time absentee ballot voters, and the rescheduling of elections.
(Do you think this was intentional on the voter’s part or confusion?)
“I would have no way of knowing that,” said Eveler.
“Whether someone intends to do it or doesn't intend to do it, it remains a problem for the voter integrity in the state,” said Statewide Voting System Manager Gabe Sterling.
Sterling works for the Secretary of State's office. He says the June election saw double voting involved mostly absentee ballots. But, in August, the trend changed, and most people voted in person - twice.
“Double voting is illegal. No matter what the president of the Unite States has said you can’t double vote,” said Sterling.
Sterling believes poll works made mistakes in August because of the long voting lines. He doesn't see widespread voting fraud across the state.
“If it's not zero, it's a bad number. But, yeah it's not like its 50% or something. But the whole point is any vote diluted is a vote denied Georgians,” said Georgia.
Gabe Sterling says in partisan elections 60% of the double votes were cast by Democrats. 40% were cast by Republicans. He believes it will be much smoother in November.