Federal judge rejects attempt to restore 98,000 purged Georgia voters

Federal judge rejects attempt to restore 98,000 purged Georgia voters
© Greg Nash

A federal judge on Friday rejected an attempt to restore 98,000 people to Georgia's voter rolls following a recent purge of more than 300,000 voters

Judge Steve Jones determined that the plaintiffs did not show that the cancellations violated the U.S. constitution, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  

The 309,000 purged voters' registrations were canceled because they had moved away or had not participated in elections, although 22,000 of them were reinstated because they contacted election officials during a certain time period. 

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The Journal-Constitution reported that the 98,000 people affected by Friday's decision had not participated in elections since 2012, but either voted or made contact with election officials during the two years prior to that.

The office of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger praised Jones's decision in a Friday statement.  

"Today Judge Jones upheld Georgia's decision to continue to maintain clean voter rolls," the statement said. "Despite activists' efforts and lawsuits that only waste taxpayer dollars, Georgia is continuing to ensure every eligible voter can vote and voter lists remain accurate."

The suit was brought by voting rights group Fair Fight Action, which is tied to former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D).

Fair Fight Action CEO Lauren Groh-Wargo, in a statement carried by the Journal-Constitution, urged Raffensperger to reinstate the canceled voters.

“The court expressed its serious concern that there needs to be an immediate and accurate interpretation by the state court” Groh-Wargo said, referring to an interpretation of Georgia’s voter registration cancellation law.