The Georgia State Election Board voted to move forward with an investigation into newly elected Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) for his involvement in alleged voter registration misconduct.
Warnock recently served as board chairman of a voter registration organization founded by Stacey Abrams called New Georgia Project (NGP). The group has been the center of controversy for months as Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger launched an investigation into the organization in December claiming they “sought to register ineligible, out-of-state, or deceased voters.”
The group also faced liens for failing to pay unemployment taxes during three different quarters in 2018 while Warnock served as board chairman, according to Fox News.
Under Warnock’s leadership in 2019, election officials now claim that the group failed to follow Georgia election laws.
Georgia election rules state that voting registration organizations must submit completed voter registration applications within ten days of receiving them from the voter. During a 2019 registration effort by NGP, over 1,200 applications were hand-delivered to the Gwinnett County elections office after the 10-day deadline, according to Forbes.
The Georgia State Election Board unanimously voted 3-0 Wednesday to refer the investigation into the alleged misconduct to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr (R). The board’s only Democrat joined Raffensperger in abstaining from the vote.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Warnock was misidentified as the CEO for the New Georgia Project in the group’s corporate document filings with the state. This caused him to be named as a respondent in the case.
New Georgia Project CEO Nse Ufot said in a statement that this is the first she and the organization has heard of the allegations.
“Today’s State Election Board meeting was the first time we heard about the allegations regarding NGP’s important voter registration work from 2019. We have not received any information on this matter from the Secretary or any other Georgia official,” Ufot said.
Since Warnock won a special election on Jan. 5, he will not serve a usual six year term. Instead he will be up for reelection in 2022.