Georgia Vote Shows Signs of Tampering, Civil Rights Group Says

(Bloomberg) -- A spike in the use of provisional ballots in Georgia during the midterm election suggests hackers purged names from the state’s voter rolls, according to a civil rights group that sued to get all such ballots counted.

Against the backdrop of a too-close-to-call governor’s race, the national nonprofit Common Cause on Friday told U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg in Atlanta that its concerns aren’t “speculative,” as claimed by Georgia Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden, whose office oversaw the election.

Crittenden’s predecessor, Republican Brian Kemp, resigned Thursday after declaring himself the winner of the race. Democrat Stacey Abrams hasn’t conceded.

“Evidence of a significant increase in the use of provisional ballots this year supports the inference that the voter registration list has been tampered with, particularly when coupled with evidence of voter registration problems at the polls and expert opinion regarding the vulnerability of the system,” the group’s lawyer, Chris Campbell of DLA Piper, said in filing Friday.

Abrams accused her opponent during her campaign of wrongfully purging thousands of names from the voter rolls before the election under the guise of election security -- allegations he strongly denied.

Common Cause says voters’ names may have been purged from Georgia’s voter registration database by intruders, and poll workers forced to hand out a lot of provisional ballots on Election Day -- ballots the group argues will likely go uncounted. It wants a court order that all provisional ballots be counted, even if the voter’s name isn’t in the state database.

Kemp has a lead of about 63,000 votes over Abrams and says there are fewer than 21,000 uncounted ballots outstanding.

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