The Georgia Election Board decided by a unanimous vote on Wednesday, Feb. 10, to launch an investigation into the state’s first Black U.S. senator, Democrat Raphael Warnock, for his connection to a Stacey Abrams-founded voter organization that election officials claim did not follow deadlines.
Warnock will face investigation by the board into his role as chairman of the New Georgia Project after that organization allegedly failed to submit completed voter applications within ten days after they were received from the voters, as is required by state election rules.
According to officials, the organization submitted 1,268 applications to the Gwinnett County elections office after the ten-day deadline back in 2019. Warnock served as chairman of the organization during this time, then resigned in January 2020.
Raphael Warnock in under investigation by the Georgia Elections Board. (Photo: PBS News Hour YouTube screenshot)
The board voted to refer the investigation to Georgia’s Republican Attorney General, Chris Carr. The only Democrat on the board, as well as Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, abstained from the vote.
In December, following the 2020 presidential election, Raffensperger announced he would launch an investigation into the New Georgia Project and other voter registration organizations that had “sought to register ineligible, out-of-state, or deceased voters.”
“Today’s State Election Board meeting was the first time we heard about the allegations regarding NGP’s important voter registration work from 2019,” New Georgia Project CEO Nse Ufot said in a statement. “We have not received any information on this matter from the Secretary or any other Georgia official.”
Abrams, who founded the New Georgia Project in 2014, received credit earlier this year for her role in flipping both of Georgia’s senate seats from incumbent Republicans to Democrats.
When Warnock won the runoff election last month, he became Georgia’s first Black senator. Sen. Jon Ossoff also defeated his Republican opponent.
Abrams ran for Georgia governor in 2018 but lost to now-Gov. Brian Kemp by about 55,000 votes. She accused Kemp, then in charge of running elections in his role as Georgia’s secretary of state, of employing voter suppression efforts to help secure his victory. Abrams is widely expected to run for governor again in 2022.