Founder of New Georgia Project speaks out

Published: Jun. 8, 2014 at 2:37 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 8, 2014 at 2:38 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - We are finally hearing from the founder of the New Georgia Project, a voter registration group we have been investigating all week, after some folks questioned its credibility.

WTOC spoke to CEO Stacey Abrams, who is also the House Minority Leader for Georgia's General Assembly.

We have been asking questions all week, talking to the attorneys and PR officials with this organization, which recruited local college students to go door to door, collecting voter registration forms.

What they did with that sensitive information is what had some folks concerned. WTOC wanted answers about the legitimacy of the group, especially when we learned the Secretary of State's Office does not recognize the New Georgia Project as a non-profit organization.

Officials with the New Georgia Project were never able to answer our questions until Saturday. They revealed it is part of the Third Sector Development, a nonprofit organization that supports disadvantaged communities.

WTOC was able to confirm that the group is registered as a non-profit in Georgia. Third Sector Development was started by Georgia State Representative, Stacey Abrams. She says the New Georgia Project was her idea. It was started this year to get more folks registered to vote in under represented communities.

WTOC's Elizabeth Rawlins asked Abrams why it took so long to reveal these details about the organization.

"My primary role with regards to the New Georgia Project is fundraising and I am incredibly busy doing that work, but we have put in place a structure to respond to questions," said Rep. Abrams.

Rawlins asked Abrams if this gives voter registration a bad name when there are issues that come up.

"I think that every organization that hires people and wants to do the best work have quality control issues," said Rep. Abrams.

Abrams went on to say that they keep everyone's information private and they are in compliance with Georgia registration laws.

WTOC also spoke to State Representative Al Williams of Midway, who supports the New Georgia Project but admits it's gotten off to a rough start.

"This organization takes full responsibility for how it was introduced to this area," said Rep. Williams. "It was all wrong, but there is no sinister motive just trying to get people registered to vote."

WTOC will continue to keep you updated on this developing story. To safely register to vote log onto the Secretary of State's website:

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