The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and FBI are investigating threatening emails election officials in at least ten Georgia counties received ahead of Tuesday’s (January 5) US Senate runoffs.
Local election employees in ten counties, most of them Republican-leaning, reported the threats to state and federal authorities who immediately launched an investigation.
“We’re not going to put up with this kind of behavior,” Georgia Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs told reporters.
GBI Director Vic Reynolds said that in spite of the threats, voters should feel safe going to their voting precincts.
“What I would certainly tell anyone who is contemplating going to the polls tomorrow to go do that. I feel comfortable that they should do it, that they will be safe doing it,” Reynolds said.
Cherokee County, which received the threatening emails, announced additional security measures at all polling locations in the county. Spalding, Floyd, Bulloch, Paulding, Glynn, Laurens, Jackson, Franklin, and Barrow counties also received the emails and beefed up security as a result.
A “Women for Warnock” event scheduled for Sunday (January 3) at the Allen Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church was cancelled in light of the threats, according to a report by the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Allen Temple’s Pastor Joseph Cousin said he wasn’t worried about the threats, but it doesn’t make them any less disturbing.
“I think it’s people just hiding behind computers, with the ability to just something out there and then not have to take any ownership of it, to create [voter] suppression.” Allen Temple is also a designated polling location in the runoff election.
The FBI Atlanta field office released a statement confirming their investigation into the matter and reassuring the public of their safety during the state’s highly-anticipated Election Day. “We take all threats seriously and are in communication with our local, state, and federal partners. As always, we ask everyone to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement,” the statement said.
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