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Could Raphael Warnock’s investigation lead to a GOP Senate majority?

By Carl Durrek

The U.S. Senator from Georgia is under investigation. If he’s booted, the balance of power in the Senate could shift.

Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock is under investigation for alleged election law violations after a nonprofit he once ran purportedly failed to properly submit more than 1,200 voter applications in 2019.

The New Georgia Project, a voting rights groups founded by one-time gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and run by Warnock until last year, is accused of submitting “1,268 voter registration applications [to the state] after the 10-day deadline, causing voters to be disenfranchised in the March 19, 2019 special election,” according a statement from the Georgia State Election Board.

Warnock is listed as the group’s CEO in its corporate records from 2017 to 2020, according to the Washington Free Beacon. The state election board referred the case Wednesday to the Georgia attorney general’s office for criminal prosecution.

If charged and convicted, Warnock will be forced to give up his seat in the Senate. Currently, there is a 50-50 split, but with Vice President Kamala Harris holding the tie-breaker voter, Democrats technically have control. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer runs the Senate as a result.

This isn’t the only investigation currently open on The New Georgia Project, but it’s the one that’s getting the current attention. Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has been trying to fix his political reputation and career after battles with the Trump campaign during the 2020 election. It would behoove him to take firm action if election laws were, indeed, broken.

“Election fraud is not tolerated in Georgia. When there is evidence of it, the people responsible face prosecution,” Secretary Raffensperger said in a statement Wednesday. “Georgia has multiple safeguards in place that allow our team of investigators to discover fraudulent voting. They worked to catch the wrongdoing in these cases, and they maintain the security of Georgia elections.”

In Georgia, a vacated Senate seat is filled by the governor. Republican Brian Kemp is not bound to select a member from the same party, as is common in other states when a seat is vacated. Could he plug in a Republican, shifting the power back to the GOP at 51-49? Yes. But that doesn’t mean he would. His office has been similarly attacked by the Trump campaign for doing very little against voter fraud in his state.

It’s ironic that two of the Republicans most despised for the duplicity in the 2020 election—Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger—hold the power to possibly give the Senate majority back to the GOP.


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