West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner is hoping an attempt by an out-of-state organization to register West Virginians to vote in Georgia isn’t the “tip of the iceberg to a larger problem.”
A West Virginia resident reported to the Secretary of State that they had been contacted by someone asking them to register to vote in the Peach State in order to vote in that state’s run-off elections for U.S. Senate.
Warner warned West Virginians to decline efforts by anyone who attempts to “questionably obtain participation” in any other state.
Warner said in a news release he hoped the report represented only an isolated incident and not part of a bigger effort to engage West Virginians in illegal voting activity.
“The only way we will know is if citizens report such solicitations,” Warner said. “I strongly caution people who receive a solicitation to participate in another state’s elections to not engage in such activity.”
Any West Virginian who receives any calls, emails or other communication asking them to register to vote in another state — particularly Georgia in the coming weeks — should report that communication to the Secretary of State’s Election Fraud Task Force to investigate the matter.
Run-off elections for both of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats is set to take place Jan. 5. In both races, Democratic challengers are looking to unseat Republican incumbents, and the majority of the Senate is at stake in the races.
Republican incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler is challenged by the Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, and Democrat John Ossoff is challenging incumbent Republican Sen. David Perdue.
Officials in Georgia have warned non-Georgia residents not to move to the state solely to establish residency to vote in the run-off election, a move that isn’t legal.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said last month he would pursue prosecution against anyone who attempted to undermine the state’s elections.
He said that the consequences of doing so would be severe.
This week, Raffensperger announced his office had opened more than 250 cases dealing with potential violations of the state’s election laws, according to a report by the Associated Press.
“The security of Georgia’s elections is of the utmost importance,” Raffensperger said in a news release this week. “We have received specific evidence that these groups have solicited voter registrations from ineligible individuals who have passed away or live out of state. I will investigate these claims thoroughly and take action against anyone attempting to undermine our elections.”
A Florida attorney was filmed in November saying he intended to move to a relative’s home in Georgia only for the purpose of voting in the runoff election, according to a report from WSB-TV in Atlanta.
Georgia officials are investigating the attorney, who also said during his speech that President Donald Trump’s lawsuits challenging election results were likely to fail and that Republicans have to do “whatever it takes” to keep a majority in the U.S. Senate, according to the WSB-TV report.