Georgia is preparing to cut more than 100,000 names from its voter rolls in the “first major list maintenance effort” since the 2020 election, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced the overhaul of its voting records on Friday. The mass cancelation follows similar maintenance efforts undertaken regularly to ensure that voting records are accurate and cut down on the opportunity for fraud.
“Making sure Georgia’s voter rolls are up to date is key to ensuring the integrity of our elections,” Raffensperger said in a statement. “That is why I fought and beat Stacey Abrams in court in 2019 to remove nearly 300,000 obsolete voter files before the November election, and will do so again this year. Bottom line, there is no legitimate reason to keep ineligible voters on the rolls.”
The 101,789 names set to be removed from Georgia’s voting rolls are being taken off because of a change of address or after failing to vote for at least five consecutive years. The Georgia Secretary of State noted:
After the 2020 election cycle ended, Raffensperger made it a priority to continue with the list maintenance process. The 101,789 obsolete voter files that will be removed include 67,286 voter files associated with a National Change of Address form submitted to the U.S. Postal Service; 34,227 voter files that had election mail returned to sender; and 276 that had no-contact with elections officials for at least five years. In each of these cases, the individual had no contact with Georgia’s elections officials in any way – either directly or through the Department of Driver Services – for two general elections.
The no contact list includes a relatively small 276 voter files because no-contact notifications were not sent out in 2017 due to a challenge of the Georgia law mandating that process. Secretary Raffensperger successfully defeated the challenge to the law and the process has been resumed.
The Secretary of State’s office also removed 18,486 voter files of dead individuals based on information received from Georgia’s Office of Vital Records and the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), an interstate partnership of 30 states and the District of Columbia focused on maintaining accurate voter rolls.
The canceled voter registrations amount to 1.3% of Georgia’s total number of registered voters, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In 2019, Fair Fight Action, a progressive group founded by former state representative and Democratic activist Stacey Abrams, sued Georgia for attempting to cancel about 300,000 names off its voter rolls. The state eventually won the court battle and removed almost all of the names in question. Abrams’ group did score a minor victory, however, as the judge in the case ordered the state to reinstate roughly 22,000 voters.
Fair Fight Action has pledged to review the list of voters for mistakes, potentially setting up another court battle between Abrams’ group and the state.
“The last time Secretary Raffensperger conducted a massive voter purge, he was forced to admit 22,000 errors — 22,000 Georgia voters who would have been kicked off the rolls were it not for Fair Fight Action’s diligence. We’ll be reviewing the list thoroughly and reaching out to impacted voters,” Fair Fight Action CEO Lauren Groh-Wargo told the Journal-Constitution.