PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. — A Florida attorney is at the center of a new state investigation after elections officials say he recently attempted to register to vote in Georgia and instructed other Florida Republicans on how to do it .
Bill Price is seen in a now-deleted Facebook Live video, speaking to the Bay County GOP members in Florida on Nov. 7th. It was about half an hour after the election was called for the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed the video is being investigated and released the following statement Thursday:
“Make no mistake, individuals who attempt to undermine the integrity of Georgia’s elections will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Raffensperger. “Those who move to Georgia just to vote in the Senate runoffs with no intention of staying are committing a felony that is punishable with jailtime and hefty fines. They will be found, they will be investigated, and they will be punished.”
Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr recorded the nearly hour-long video at the center of the investigation Tuesday afternoon, shortly before it was deleted.
Price begins by sharing his legal expertise with the crowd, telling them lawsuits challenging the presidential race are likely to fail.
“I’d love to tell you that there are legal avenues for success in the courts, but as a realist and as a lawyer myself, I know that that’s just not going to happen,” he said.
Instead, Price encouraged the crowd to work toward a “billion-man” march at the State Capitol, show up in Atlanta on Election Day, and move if they can do it.
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“We absolutely have to hold the Senate and we have to start fighting back, and we have to do whatever it takes,” Price said in the video. “And if that means changing your address for the next two months, so be it. I’m doing that. I’m moving to Georgia and I’m gonna fight and I want you all to fight with me.”
Price told the group he’s moving to his brother’s address in Hiram, Georgia in order to register to vote in the January runoff. He repeats and spells and his brother’s name and address, as members of the group jot it down. They can be heard mumbling the address in the background while some write.
“We can truly register at that address?” one woman asks.
“Sure,” Price answers, adding they have to plan to show a move, suggesting they have mail sent there.
“And can it be anywhere in the state of Georgia you can register?” another woman asks. “So if you’ve got cousins, dogs, cats that live somewhere else, it doesn’t need to be one particular county?”
“Yep,” Price answers. “This is going to be a statewide election on Jan. 5th. I’m gonna be voting for Kelly Loeffler?” (In the recording, his voice indicates a question, as he mispronounces the senator’s last name). “And David Perdue.”
One woman also asks about the deadline to register in Georgia. Price said he’s unsure, would have to check, but offers advice on how to get it done online.
“It can be done online or you can request your ballot at your new address in Georgia by mail,” Price said. You just go to the secretary of state’s website for the state of Georgia and register to vote there.”
“If they need a driver’s license, I’m going to get a driver’s license,” he said. “If they need mail, I’m going to have mail there.”
“We have to win that election in Georgia, and so I’m moving to my brother’s house in Hiram, Georgia and I’m registering to vote,” Price says. “And we are going to win that election in January.”
“That’s what needs to be done. If you don’t want to do it, fine. Might as well move to Venezuela now‚” he said. “Get used to that lifestyle, cause that’s what’s coming.”
When Carr reached Price by email Tuesday evening, he denied he was serious about the move.
“Thanks for reaching out. I did not change my voter registration and I don’t have 2 million roommates,” Price wrote, referencing a joke he’d told at one point during the talk about having millions join him in Georgia. " But if my humorous comments bring attention to the massive and widespread voter fraud in Georgia, I would submit to you that it’s a good thing.”
But Channel 2 confirmed Price registered to vote the day after he made the speech, using his brother’s Hiram address and swearing to an affidavit that he was a Georgia resident and eligible to vote.
“When we clearly know that he is not,” said Deidre Holden, Paulding County’s election supervisor.
Holden said Wednesday that Price’s voter registration is in pending status. Her office was preparing to write him and ask him to bring in his driver’s license to “cure” and complete the registration, since the information was provided last month.
By Monday morning, Holden had been contacted by state elections investigators who had flagged Price’s Georgia registration address. They shared the video with her. She said the elections board will hold a special-called meeting next week to make sure Price’s registration does not become active.
Holden, a Republican, told Carr Price’s intent was clear in the video, and it was disturbing to hear him instruct the group and say he planned to return to Florida on Jan. 6th.
“What kind of message is this sending out to our children and our grandchildren and our neighbors that if you don’t win an election, that you can just go out and steal one?” Holden asked. “And that’s absolutely unacceptable here in the State of Georgia.”
Carr stopped by Price’s brother’s home on Wednesday. He confirmed he’d been contacted by state investigators, but had not seen the video.
“The whole thing was just tongue- in-cheek,” Fredrick Price said of his brother’s remarks. “There’s nothing here. "
“Some of it was tongue-in- cheek,” Carr said. “The other was specific instructions.
“No,” Price answered.
“It wasn’t all a joke,” Carr said.
“OK, but No,” Price answered.”
“OK, thank you, Sir,” Carr said.
In a Wednesday afternoon statement, Georgia’s Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs confirmed the office would be exploring the felony charges tied to fraudulent voter registration in Georgia.
For weeks Georgia officials have warned that registering to vote with no attempt to stay in Georgia can be punishable by a felony charge that can carry up to a ten-year sentence, and $100,000 fine.
“This isn’t California,” said Fuchs. “We actually investigate and seek to prosecute individuals who try vote here illegally. Our system is built to prevent this behavior— we will seek to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.”
Carr reached out to the Bay County GOP to see if the group advised members that Price was under investigation, and his suggestions regarding temporary moves to vote is illegal. As of airtime, Wednesday, Channel 2 has not received a response.
GEORGIA VOTER GUIDE:
- Key Dates for 2020 Runoff Elections in Georgia
- These are the races that are in a runoff in Georgia
- Did you know? You can still register to vote in Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoffs
- How to vote by absentee ballot for Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff elections