Georgia Secretary of State Republican Brad Raffensperger has announced the removal of 101,789 obsolete and outdated voter files from the state’s voter rolls. This is the first major voting list maintenance task undertaken by Raffensperger following the November presidential election, and will help to ensure that voter files are up-to-date.
Georgia’s state law requires that ineligible or infrequent voters be purged from the voter rolls every other year. The removal of 101,789 registrations represents 1.3 percent of the total 7.8 million registered voters in the state. If a voter’s registration is canceled, he or she can simply register again to cast votes in a future election.
“Making sure Georgia’s voter rolls are up to date is key to ensuring the integrity of our elections… 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,” Raffensperger said in a June 18 statement.
Back in 2019, Raffensperger sought to remove 287,000 voters from the state’s registration list. Democrat Abrams’s Fair Fight Election group sued to reverse the removal of 98,000 people from voter rolls in January 2020. That same month, a federal judge denied Fair Fight Election’s attempt to restore the voters because they had not participated in elections for over eight years.
However, 22,000 voter files that were initially removed were reinstated by Raffensperger’s office after it came to light that the voters had contacted election officials in early 2012, before their voter registrations were due to be canceled.
“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,” Lauren Groh-Wargo, CEO of Fair Fight Election, said to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
The 101,789 voter files that are to 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 in which election mail was returned back to the sender.
- 276 individuals who have made no contact with election officials for five or more years.
In addition, 18,486 voter files were already removed in May because the individuals were identified as deceased. Raffensperger’s office is currently mailing letters to the 101,789 voters, informing them that their voter registration may be canceled if they have moved away or have not voted since 2012. Voters are given 40 days to respond before their name is purged from voter rolls.
The office will also send notices to 194,000 voters who have not participated in an election in the past five years, 244,000 voters who likely moved to other states based on voter registration and driver’s license information, and 472,000 voters who filled out national change-of-address forms indicating that they moved to a different county within Georgia.
These voters will also have 40 days to respond. Voters who wish to know whether they face removal from voter rolls can visit the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page for more information.