State Watch

Georgia restores 22,000 voter registrations after purge

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Georgia election officials restored approximately 22,000 voter registrations Thursday, after over 300,000 voters were purged from the state’s registry earlier in the week.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office said the reversal was due to the way the process of maintaining the voter list was carried out in 2015, The Associated Press reports.

The issue was brought to the state’s attention by voting rights advocacy group Fair Fight Action, which was founded by former state Rep. Stacey Abrams (D).

The discrepancy, according to the secretary of State’s office, was due to a mistake in adherence to specific dates of inactivity. 

“When the list-maintenance process was begun in June of 2015, it searched for the registrations of people who had not voted or had any other type of contact with their county elections office (like submitting an updated registration, requesting an absentee ballot, or signing a petition) since before June 1, 2012, and classified them as inactive voters,” the Raffensperger’s office said.

However, the date was supposed to be Jan. 1, 2012, not June 1, 2012, Raffensperger’s spokesman Walter Jones told the AP.

On Monday, Raffensperger’s office purged 308,753 voter registrations that were deemed inactive, a move that has received national attention and flak. 

“Georgians should not lose their right to vote simply because they have not expressed that right in recent elections, and Georgia’s practice of removing voters who have declined to participate in recent elections violates the United States Constitution,” Fair Fight Action CEO Lauren Groh-Wargo said this week in a statement

Fair Fight Action filed a motion this week in an attempt to block the purge.

U.S. District Judge Steve Jones heard arguments from both sides Thursday, but has yet to make a decision.

Georgia purged 534,119 voter registrations in July 2017.

–This report was updated on Dec. 22 at 7:35 a.m.

Tags Georgia Stacey Abrams voter purge Voter registration Walter Jones

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