Disqualifying valid ballots would constitute such an offense and constitute a crime in itself. State law also forbids interference with the performance of the secretary of state’s official election duties—by, for instance, asking him to falsify records. An individual is culpable even if they failed to induce fraud.
Slate: A former U.S. attorney has asked Georgia to open an investigation into Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham’s potentially criminal interference in the state’s election.
Michael J. Moore, who served as U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia from 2010 to 2015, sent his request to the Georgia State Board of Elections on Thursday. Moore cited multiple public interviews given by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, in which Raffensperger said that Graham pressured him to throw out valid mail ballots.
A former U.S. attorney has asked the Georgia State Election Board to investigate U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, saying he pressed the state’s top election official to interfere in the presidential election. #gapol https://t.co/M4c58aUBTW
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) December 3, 2020
According to the secretary of state, Graham asked whether he could toss all mail ballots from any county with a high rate of “signature mismatch”—signatures that don’t match those on a voter’s registration form. (Under a federal court order, Georgia is required to let voters cure a mismatched signature.)
Signature mismatch disproportionately affects racial minorities, who lean Democratic overall. Graham requested that even ballots with matching signatures be rejected in precincts with large populations of Black voters. It thus appears that Graham wanted Raffensberger to throw enough Democratic ballots to swing the state toward Donald Trump.
In his letter, Moore noted that Graham’s alleged conduct might constitute a criminal offense under Georgia law. The state prohibits solicitation to commit election fraud, which occurs when an individual “solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or otherwise attempts to cause” another person to commit an election-related offense.
NEW: A former U.S. Attorney has asked the Georgia election board to investigate Secretary Raffensberger’s allegations that Lindsey Graham asked him to illegally throw out legal ballots. Graham’s alleged act is a criminal offense under Georgia law. https://t.co/QkpB4053MA @Slate
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) December 3, 2020