COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has weighed in on unfounded claims by an outside group that Muscogee County is one of the nation’s most corrupt counties when it comes to election fraud.

This has been simmering since Jan. 10 when Kevin Parker of County Citizens Defending Freedom presented at the local Republican party meeting.

It didn’t go well. I will let Muscogee County Republican Party Chairman Alton Russell tell it.

“They made an accusation on Facebook to start with that Columbus was one of the top 100 counties in America that had voter fraud and taken dark money,” Russell said. “So, I made a comment that I did not believe that. So, then I received an e-mail from Julia Pierce that they would like to prove it to us.”

On Jan. 10, Pierce and County Citizens Defending Freedom State Director Kevin Parker presented to the Muscogee County Republicans.

WRBL obtained this video of the meeting through a Georgia Open Record’s request to the Muscogee County Elections and Registrations office.

The video shows Parker addressing the group.

Muscogee County Director of Elections and Registrations Nancy Boren was also in the audience.

“But they never did present any proof,” Russell said. “They just gave us a bunch of stuff about who they were and they wanted to start one of their chapters in Muscogee County. So, when they finally decided they were not going to give us any proof to back up their allegations, I ended the meeting and told them we were adjourned.”

The allegations drew the attention of the state’s top election official, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. He’s been fighting unsubstantiated election-denier allegations since 2020.

“I knew it wasn’t supported by any facts,” Raffensperger said. “Actually, it was very distressing that someone would actually put that information out there.”

Raffensperger put out a news release coming to Boren and Muscogee County’s defense.

“She’s a model for even nationwide recognition,” Raffensperger said. “She’s just done a great job for the people. Not just Muscogee County, but the entire state.”

The secretary of state also praised Russell for shutting it down during the meeting.

“I am grateful for Alton standing up and being counted. Because many times people have been afraid to stand up to be counted,” Raffensperger said. “But he pushed back because he knew it wasn’t supported by the facts. And that’s principled conservatism at its finest.”

Here’s what Pierce had to say in a response to Russell obtained by WRBL.

“Additionally, on a personal note, as a believer in Jesus Christ, I will say that I am sorely displeased with your commitment, as you present yourself also a believer in Jesus Christ, to uphold the lie, join yourself with the liar, discredit the truth and those who tell it, and align yourself with those who are intent to subvert the truth and the people.”

Parker told WRBL News 3 that Muscogee County is one of 14 Georgia counties where the group wants to start a chapter.

Boren said there have been no complaints of election fraud in Muscogee County.

“There have been no complaints that I am aware of for election fraud either to the state, the district attorney or any other authority,” Boren said.

Parker told the group he had signed a non-disclosure agreement and could not reveal evidence of the fraud until after Muscogee County established a County Citizens Defending Freedom chapter.