Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill empowering the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to conduct criminal investigations into voter fraud accusations that previously required the secretary of state’s referral.
In a statement, Kemp claimed the new law adds on the “strong common sense measures in our Election Integrity Act of 2021,” a controversial voting reform approved last year. In the coming fiscal year’s budget, he has set aside more than $500,000 for the new GBI investigators.
Kemp’s bill signing countered claims made by his Donald Trump-backed Republican primary opponent, former U.S. Senator David Perdue, that he is soft on voter fraud: Perdue has made Trump’s unfounded voter fraud charges the centerpiece of his campaign to oust Kemp, claiming that the governor didn’t fight hard enough to dispute or overturn the election results in 2020. Kemp is Trump’s main target in Georgia, where he has endorsed eight primary candidates.
In the last weeks leading up to the May 24 primary, Kemp has been highlighting his signature of popular Republican-backed legislation virtually every day.
A new law allowing Georgians to carry concealed weapons without a permit, as well as a regulation restricting “divisive” school curricula, are among them. He flew to Perdue’s hometown of Bonaire on Monday to sign a $1 billion tax cut into law, the largest in Georgia history. He flew with David Perdue’s cousin, Sonny Perdue, the newly appointed University of Georgia system head and former Governor of Georgia.