Perdue proposes "election law enforcement division"
Former senator and gubernatorial hopeful David Perdue says he wants to create an “Election Law Enforcement Division” within the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to enforce election laws, investigate election-related crimes and arrest offenders.
Why it matters: This is the latest Republican proposal circulating in response to the 2020 election, in which the U.S. attorney general found no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Yes, but: In his budget proposal Gov. Brian Kemp has included about $500,000 per year to create two full-time and two part-time dedicated election complaints investigators within the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
- House Speaker David Ralston plans to introduce a bill that would give GBI the ability to investigate election law violations without being invited by local governments.
- The GBI assisted with the Secretary of State’s Office’s election investigations last year.
The big picture: The Secretary of State’s Office already employs two dedicated election investigators within a force of about two dozen POST-certified investigators (who are also charged with investigating things like licensing violations).
- Investigators refer cases to the State Election Board, which then votes on whether to send cases to either a district attorney or the Georgia Attorney General for further legal action.
- Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has asked for more resources for his investigations unit for years, including this past week.
Of note: At one time, the secretary of state’s entire investigations unit focused on last year’s election-related allegations and launched more than 250 investigations. The State Election Board referred 35 complaints to district attorneys and the attorney general.
What he’s saying: Perdue told a Valdosta radio program that the secretary of state managing both elections administration and elections investigations is like "grading your own homework."
Context: This election law enforcement agency idea has already been proposed in Florida by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
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