Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger (R) said Friday that his office will remove some 100,000 voters from Georgia’s voter rolls in an effort that he defended as nothing more than regular “maintenance” following a major election, according to the Washington Examiner.
Raffensberger released a list of voters that would be impacted by the update in order to provide them a chance to verify their information before being deleted. It is a process that is required by law and occurs every two years to ensure that ineligible voters’ information can’t be used fraudulently.
“Making sure Georgia’s voter rolls are up to date is key to ensuring the integrity of our elections,” the Republican official said in a statement. “There is no legitimate reason to keep ineligible voters on the rolls.”
The state has already removed 18,486 deceased voters from its system using information obtained from Georgia’s Office of Vital Records and the Electronic Registration Information Center, the Examiner reported.
Critics say it’s a “purge”
In a tweet following Raffensperger’s announcement, Gerald Griggs, who’s with the Atlanta chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), called the planned action a “voter purge” and suggested that thousands of eligible voters were removed from the voting rolls in 2019, the last time such action occurred.
Raffensperger countered, telling WSB-TV 2, “These people don’t live in Georgia anymore… You need to have accurate voter rolls and proper list maintenance. It also helps your county election directors.”
Prominent Democratic voting rights activist Stacey Abrams has advocated against the removal of voters since losing her fight for the governorship in 2019, as the state removed some 300,000 voters prior to the election.
Raffensberger successfully fought off challenges to the removal actions from Abrams, but ultimately reinstated 22,000 names after it was proven that some voters were removed in error.
Judicial Watch leads the way
Judicial Watch, a powerful conservative watchdog group, has been working to have ineligible voters removed from the rolls nationally since 2019. The group said it found 2.5 million ineligible voters in key swing states in January 2020 and worked overtime to pressure officials to delete some of those voters.
Efforts from the group appeared to have paid off, somewhat, as California ultimately removed 1.5 million ineligible voters after threats of legal action from the watchdog group. In Pennsylvania, however, an effort to remove 800,000 names failed after a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the group.
North Carolina, Colorado, and Virginia are additional states where large numbers of ineligible voters have reportedly been discovered. When ineligible voters are left on the rolls, some experts claim that it opens the door for potential fraud.
While most of the hoopla surrounding allegations of widespread voter fraud has died down across the nation following the 2020 election, there are still moves being made to this day, such as Raffensperger’s removal of ineligible voters, to ensure that such a disastrous scenario doesn’t unfold in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections.