Georgia’s secretary of state is poised to remove more than 100,000 “outdated” names from the state’s voter registration rolls unless those on the list take immediate action.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger released the full list of people who could be affected by the registration update on Friday.
“Making sure Georgia’s voter rolls are up to date is key to ensuring the integrity of our elections,” the Republican said in a statement. “There is no legitimate reason to keep ineligible voters on the rolls.”
Some critics, such as Gerald Griggs with the Atlanta NAACP, described the move as a voter purge. Griggs said thousands of voters were improperly removed from the 2019 list. However, state officials noted the removals are required by law and that the maintenance occurs every two years.
Raffensperger’s office also removed 18,486 voter files of dead individuals based on information obtained from Georgia’s Office of Vital Records and the Electronic Registration Information Center.
“These people don’t live in Georgia anymore. Then, you have 18,000 people who passed. So, they are not going to be voting anymore. You need to have accurate voter rolls and proper list maintenance. It also helps your county election directors,” Raffensperger told WSB-TV 2.
The move to update the state’s voter registration listing follows the recently passed Republican-backed voting law meant to secure election integrity and make it more difficult for any cheating to occur. Republicans in the state saw the legislation as necessary to improve voter confidence and to restore security in elections despite former President Donald Trump‘s Justice Department claiming that the 2020 election was the most secure in U.S. history.
Raffensperger has received condemnation from members of his own party for stating that President Joe Biden won Georgia in November and for refusing to help Trump overturn the results of the election after he boasted unsubstantiated claims of fraud following his loss.
The secretary of state took a jab at voting rights advocate and 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams in his statement, saying he “fought to beat” her in a 2019 court case so he could “remove nearly 300,000 obsolete voter files before the November election.”
After Abrams was defeated by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, she started Fair Fight Action, a voting rights organization, and filed a lawsuit disputing Georgia’s removal of voter files for those who haven’t participated in recent elections.
A federal judge dismissed the voting rights organization’s efforts to block the cancellation of voters who had been inactive for more than eight years in January 2020, though Raffensperger’s office agreed to reinstate 22,000 voter registrations after reports that some names were removed in error.
The Washington Examiner contacted Raffensperger’s office and Fair Fight Action for additional comment but did not immediately receive a response.
Source: Washington Examiner : Georgia secretary of state removes 100,000 ‘outdated’ voter files