Georgia’s secretary of state to remove 100K ‘obsolete and outdated’ voter files

ATLANTA — More than 100,000 Georgians are scheduled to be removed from the state’s voter registration rolls in a matter of weeks, unless they take action.

The secretary of state’s office released the full list of people who will be impacted on Friday.

Critics call it a voter purge, but state officials told Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray that the removals are required by law and the roll maintenance is required to happen every two years.

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Because of the record turnout in the 2020 election, the number of voters set to be removed from the state’s voter roll is a fraction of what it was in 2017 or 2019.

The vast majority of the more than 101,000 people on the list submitted change of address forms to the post office or had returned election mail. Only 275 people are on the list because of inactivity and more than 18,000 were removed because they have died.

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“These people don’t live in Georgia anymore. Then you have 18,000 people who passed. So they are not going to be voting anymore. You need to have accurate voter rolls and proper list maintenance. It also helps your county election directors,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Gray.

Two years ago, voting rights groups sued the state over what they called a voter purge.

Gerald Griggs with the Atlanta NAACP said thousands of voters were improperly on the list for removal in 2019 and he worries it’s happening again.

“We already have lawyers on standby, I am on standby, just in case we have to file litigation. So we are going to be watching this and we will respond if we believe voters have been disenfranchised,” Griggs said.

For the first time this year, Georgia has joined 30 other states to be part of the nonpartisan Electronic Registration Information Center.

Raffensperger said going forward, that new system will allow them to update the registration status of people who move out of state on a monthly basis, instead of every two years.

Voters can check online and see if they are on the list. They have 40 days to update their status or be removed from the registration rolls.

Even if a voter is removed, Georgians can reregister to vote online in a matter of seconds.