Four Georgia absentee ballots in the 2020 presidential election were cast in the names of dead voters, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Election investigators found that all four absentee ballots had been sent in by relatives, the Journal-Constitution reported Monday.
The State Election Board referred the cases to the attorney general's office this month after investigators reviewed dozens of allegations, the newspaper said. The probe confirmed that most of the ballots in question had been returned by voters who were alive.
Former President Donald Trump has said that voter fraud in several battleground states, such as Georgia, cost him the election and resulted in Joe Biden becoming president.
Earlier this month, Trump-endorsed Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue, the state's former Republican senator, said he would not have signed the certification of the electoral votes for Biden until allegations of voter fraud were investigated.
"The problems in the 2020 election started long before any votes were cast," Perdue said in a statement to Newsmax. "They started when [Gov.] Brian Kemp caved to [activist] Stacey Abrams and the Democrats, giving them control of our elections."
Perdue then joined a lawsuit claiming that voter fraud in the state's most populous county affected the 2020 presidential election outcome. The suit does not seek to overturn the results of the election.
Three separate vote counts showed that Trump lost Georgia by about 12,000 votes.
Among the four ballots cited by the Journal-Constitution, a 74-year-old widow submitted an absentee ballot on behalf of her late husband, who died in September 2020.
"He was going to vote Republican, and she said, 'Well, I'm going to cancel your ballot because I'm voting Democrat.' It was kind of a joke between then," Barry Bishop, an attorney for Sharon Nelson of Canton, Georgia, told the State Election Board, the Journal-Constitution reported.
"She received the absentee ballot and carried out his wishes. ... She now realizes that was not the thing to do."
Georgia election officials said such mistakes should result in some action.
"Remorse is something we hear a lot, and it's something I appreciate because sometimes we do make these mistakes unknowingly," election board member Anh Le said during a Dec. 14 meeting. "However, the law is what it is."
Another ballot was submitted for a deceased Augusta voter, whose signature on the absentee ballot envelope matched the handwriting of his mother, who died in October 2020.
There also was a ballot cast by a widow who told investigators she filled out her late husband's ballot because she knew how he wanted to vote.
The election board previously found evidence that a Trion, Georgia, woman had submitted an absentee ballot for her husband, who died several months before the election.
The Journal-Constitution reported Cook told investigators that she and her daughter had returned the ballot after Donald Cook signed it before he died. However, investigators said that was impossible because the ballot wasn't issued until after his death.
The State Election Board, after the attorney general’s office investigates the cases further, has the power to levy fines of between $100 and $5,000 per violation.
The Trump campaign previously cited the vote of James Blalock, who had died in 2006, as evidence of fraud. His widow, whose legal name is Mrs. James Blalock, confirmed that she voted, not her deceased husband, the Journal-Constitution said.
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