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Atlanta Civic Circle Democracy

Election officials warn of GBI’s impending insertion in election process

Georgia Capitol. (Photo by Kelly Jordan)

A newly passed bill that gives Georgia’s top law enforcement agency unfettered power to pursue any allegations of election fraud sets a troubling precedent for future elections, some election administration officials contend.

Before Senate Bill 441 passed on April 4, in the last hours of the state legislative session, it was up to either the state Attorney General or Secretary of State’s office to call in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into allegations of election fraud.

But SB 441, which awaits Gov. Brian Kemp’s signature, would give the GBI the power to initiate investigations into any allegations that cast doubt on an election’s outcome, going as far as seizing ballots or election machines and giving the agency subpoena power. The state’s top police agency would work with the Secretary of State’s office on cases that are already open, according to the bill.

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