Georgia’s Secretary of State says more than 100,000 names will be removed from state’s voter record

Brad Raffensperger
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, in Atlanta. Georgia election officials have announced an audit of presidential election results that will trigger a full hand recount.

  • Georgia said it’s purging more than 100,000 names off its voter registration rolls.
  • It’s removing those who haven’t voted in years or have moved.
  • Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said it’s the first major cleaning of the records since 2019.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced that more than 100,000 names will be removed from the state’s voter registration records.

This mass removal, or voter “purge,” mainly targeted those who filled out a change of address form (about 67,000) or had election mail returned (about 34,000), the AP reported. Voters can also be purged if they are declared “inactive” meaning they have not participated in an election in a certain number of years.

The purge accounts for 1.3% of the state’s 7.8 million registered voters, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported. Eligible voters who are removed can re-register to vote.

“Making sure Georgia’s voter rolls are up to date is key to ensuring the integrity of our elections,” Raffensperger said in a statement. “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.”

Abrams was the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate who lost to Kemp. After that election, Abrams founded Fair Fight Action, a voting rights organization.

The purge comes after Gov. Brian Kemp signed a controversial omnibus voting bill in March that made sweeping changes to the state’s voting rules. The bill was criticized by several civil rights groups and led to several federal lawsuits.

The state has also been a battleground over the results of the 2020 election. President Joe Biden won the state of Georgia, and two Democratic senators were also elected in a run-off election in January. The state voted for former President Donald Trump in 2016. Trump and his team had made repeated efforts to try to dispute the state’s election results, and Raffensperger was censured by his own party for stating Biden won the state.

Raffensperger said this is the first “major cleaning of the voter rolls” since 2019, and he’s “made it a priority to continue with the list maintenance process” since the 2020 presidential election.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the previous purge of 300,000 voters was not a complete victory. While a federal judge at the time agreed to have those who had been inactive for over eight years removed from the voter records, Raffensperger had to reinstate 22,000 voters who had voted a little while before the cutoff date.

“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,” said Lauren Groh-Wargo, CEO of Fair Fight Action.

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Florida legislature passes elections bill that contains restrictions on voting, following a GOP trend

Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) fist bumps with legislators as he enters the chamber of the Florida House of Representatives prior to his State of the State address in Tallahassee on March 1, 2021.

  • The Florida legislature passed a broad elections bill that contains voting restrictions.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the bill in the battleground state.
  • The makeup of the bill resembles aspects of Georgia’s recently passed voting law.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Florida’s legislature passed a sweeping and restrictive voting reform bill late on Thursday, sending the legislation to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his signature.

DeSantis is expected to sign the bill in the battleground state, and the makeup of the bill resembles aspects of Georgia’s recently passed voting law.

The new bill limits the use of ballot drop boxes, requires separate absentee ballot requests for each election, and enforces stricter, more partisan rules for who can collect drop-off ballots and who can observe ballot counting.

The bill also broadly prohibits individuals and groups from providing items with “intent to influence,” to voters within 150 feet of a polling location. Those items include food and water.

The package made it through both legislative chambers with near-unanimous GOP support, passing 77-40 in the Florida House of Representatives and 23-17 in the Florida Senate.

GOP state Sen. Jeff Brandes voted against it.

The proponents of the legislation cited debunked claims of election fraud during the 2020 election to justify the need for the reforms, as Republican-led state legislatures in Texas and Arizona eye similar bills.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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