The Richmond County Board of Elections will take up the cases of voters who don’t live where they say they do, at its monthly meeting tonight.
Last month, board members asked Executive Director Lynn Bailey to look into several cases of registered voters whose home addresses appeared to be vacant lots, abandoned houses or businesses.
Bailey is expected to present a report on her findings today when the board convenes at 6 p.m. at the Municipal Building on Greene Street. Bailey said she also expects to have a plan of action on how to address the issue and improve the county voting rolls’ accuracy.
The board’s action was prompted by stories in The Augusta Chronicle that uncovered dozens of voters with ineligible addresses – some at vacant lots and others registered at business addresses.
The Chronicle’s investigation used Augusta government databases and matched them with voter registration data to find lists of voters with suspect addresses. Georgia law requires voters to register at their place of residence.
Some of the voters interviewed admitted to living in other counties or even outside the state.
Bailey, who began some initial inquiries in November, told board members last month that she was able to confirm that several of the voters on the newspaper’s list were registered and voted from addresses that turned out to be vacant lots. She said a few of those voters have updated their addresses in recent months, but most have not.
Bailey said she also found several others with ineligible addresses, including some voters listed as living on property now used as parking lots by the Augusta National Golf Club off Berckmans Road.
Bailey said voters whose addresses are determined to be invalid can be stricken from the rolls, or if there appears to be an intent to defraud, their cases can be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office.