Eight members of the Georgia General Assembly have filed legislation that would, if enacted into law, increase penalties for election fraud within the state.
Specifically, the bill would make it a felony to “tamper with, alter, destroy, modify, or falsify the electronic data constituting the official returns or votes cast in a primary, election, or runoff.”
Lead sponsor State Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga) filed the bill Thursday.
If a court finds that certain individuals committed such crimes then they would either go to prison for 10 to 25 years or pay a fine not to exceed $100,000, according to the language of the bill.
Legislators wrote the bill to also apply to voting machine manufacturers.
According to the bill, the proposed law would also apply to any poll officer who willfully:
• Makes a false return of the votes cast at any primary or election
• Deposits fraudulent ballots in the ballot box or certifies as correct a false return of ballots
• Registers fraudulent votes upon any voting machine or certifies as correct a return of fraudulent votes cast upon any voting machine
• Makes any false entries in the electors list
• Destroys or alters any ballot, voter’s certificate, or electors list
• Tampers with any voting machine, direct recording electronic (DRE) equipment, electronic ballot marker, or tabulating machine or device
• Prepares or files any false voter’s certificate not prepared by or for an elector actually voting at such primary or election
This bill is only one of many that legislators have filed this session to address what they said were voting irregularities after the November 2020 presidential elections. U.S. President Joe Biden carried Georgia and ultimately defeated then-U.S. President Donald Trump in that election.
As The Georgia Star News reported last week, another bill in the legislature would require that election officials immediately count and tabulate ballots when the polls close.
Also as reported last week, Georgia State Rep. Charlice Byrd (R-Woodstock) introduced Voter ID legislation that she said would prohibit people from using certain types of identification for in-person voting.
That bill, HB 228, would, if enacted into law, require Georgia residents who are not U.S. citizens to have “BEARER NOT A U.S. CITIZEN — NOT VOTER ID” printed on their licenses, permits and/or identification cards. People with this information on their forms of identification could not present them to a poll worker to vote, according to Byrd’s legislation.
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