The Standard Journal

Voter purge: Second round of notices sent to ‘non-contact’ Georgia voters

- By Dave Williams

ATLANTA - The Georgia Secretary of State’s office is sending notices to 185,666 Georgians who haven’t had any contact with the state’s elections system for at least five years.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensper­ger described the move Thursday, Aug. 5, as another step to protect election integrity in Georgia by updating the state’s voter lists.

“Accurate voter lists … ensure ineligible people cannot vote, allow counties to effectivel­y allocate resources so there are no long lines, and help make sure voters get accurate informatio­n about casting their ballot,” he said.

The notices to “no contact” Georgians follows a round of notices Raffensper­ger’s office sent in June to 101,789 potential voters deemed eligible to be purged from the voter lists because they had not contacted Georgia election officials in any way — either directly or through the state Department of Driver Services — for two general elections.

The notices going out this week will classify those Georgians’ voter registrati­ons “inactive” if they do not respond within 30 days.

Federal law prohibits removing voters from the rolls during general election years due to federal mandates before federal elections.

The last voter purge Raffensper­ger conducted in 2019 removed nearly 300,000 voter files that had been deemed obsolete. That purge sparked a legal challenge from Fair Fight Action, a voting rights advocacy group founded by 2018 Democratic gubernator­ial nominee Stacey Abrams.

Following Raffensper­ger’s June announceme­nt, Fair Fight Action launched an online tool, GeorgiaVot­erSearch. com, to help voters in danger of being purged from the state’s voter lists.

“It is critical that every Georgia voter check their voter registrati­on status to make sure it is active and up to date,” said Liza Conrad, voter protection director for Fair Fight Action. “GeorgiaVot­ will allow Georgia voters to make sure they are not unjustly stripped of their access to the ballot box.”

Raffensper­ger pointed to legislatio­n then-President Bill Clinton signed in 1993 requiring states to regularly maintain their voter lists.

Georgians receiving a notificati­on from Raffensper­ger’s office can return it, postage-free, to avoid being classified as inactive.

 ??  ?? Brad Raffensper­ger
Brad Raffensper­ger

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