The emerging swing state of Georgia is a battleground, and a potentially explosive problem.
Election Integrity Grade
Brad Raffensperger (R)
Elected - In Office Since 2019
Budget Allocation For Elections: $24,344,970
Per Capita Investment In Elections: $2.29
The top election administrator in the state of Georgia is the Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger (R). The Secretary of State position in Georgia is an elected official with a four-year term. Raffensperger narrowly defeated Democrat John Barrow to win office in a December 2018 runoff.
Georgia is a significant electoral risk on several fronts. The most recent state-wide races, in 2018, were conducted under a cloud of suspicion when sitting Secretary of State Brian Kemp refused to recuse himself from a gubernatorial recount that he himself wound up winning over Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams.
Georgia also made news this year with extraordinarily long lines and faulty equipment in predominantly Democratic precincts during the primary election. Oh, and their entire election system may have been hacked in 2016 and 2018.
Statements on Voter Fraud
Support for Vote By Mail
Raffensperger has, at times, given indications that he will reject the conspiracy theories about voter fraud. He has, however, created a "voter fraud task force" that critics believe gives credence to baseless accusations. (C+)
Georgia experienced significant issues during primary season related to COVID-19. There is little reason to believe things will be better in November. Local counties needing drop-boxes or sanitary supplies must apply for grants from the state. (C-)
Under Raffensperger's leadership, Georgia sent 6.9 million absentee ballot applications to "active voters" ahead of the primary elections in April. He has, unfortunately, decided against doing this for the general election. (C-)
Election security experts have pointed to evidence that Georgia's election infrastructure was likely hacked prior to both the 2016 and 2018 elections. Officials wiped a server clean rather than submit it for third-party review. (D-)
GA Governor Brian Kemp is a partisan through-and-through, having demonstrated his priorities in crisis after crisis. With Georgia's changing demographics heralding its arrival as a true swing state, it is ground zero for political warfare. (D)
Georgia is rife with problematic election execution in recent years. From the 2018 governor's race, to this year's debacle of a primary election, there is every reason to be concerned about the state's preparedness and integrity. (F)
KEY PUBLIC STATEMENTS
Coalition for Good Governance
It creates a very dark cloud over all of the previous elections because as we know there was no way to audit them, there was no attempt at accountability by the secretary of state.
Secretary of State
I think that President Trump has a concern and I believe that everyone involved in elections should make sure it is very hard to cheat and easy to vote, and we accomplished that.
Professor of Law,
If you go back and look at the lawsuits brought for years against Georgia’s voting system, the state has repeatedly denied that it has a problem and dragged its feet on election reform.