SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – More than 100,000 voters in Georgia may have their names purged from the registered voter list as part of what Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger calls maintenance of the list.
When he visited the election office in Springfield last week, Raffensperger told WSAV he plans to work to help restore “voter confidence in the accuracy of the results.”
State law does allow names to be removed if someone has moved and not provided current and correct address information or if someone has not voted in several major election cycles. We found names from Chatham, Bryan, Effingham and Glynn counties on the list.
The Secretary of State’s Office says if voters have not voted since 2012, they risk being removed unless they contact the office.
Letters will be sent out to all those on the list this month. Recipients have 40 days to respond and provide correct address information or to indicate they plan to vote in upcoming elections.
In 2017, the state canceled a record number of 534,000 registrations. In 2019, an additional 287,000 voters’ names were removed.
“l was upset by the past purging because it was just aggressive,” says Jay Jones from the Chatham County Democratic Party.
Jones agrees that some maintenance should be done on lists but says he does not agree with Georgia’s “use it or lose it” provision.
“When you do voter purge, understand you’re purging the right folks off of it but purging people who are living and registered to vote and who may just wake up one day and say, ‘I want to vote.’ I am totally against that,” he said.
WSAV also heard from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia.
“We continue to disagree with the State’s ‘use it or lose it’ law,” said Vasu Abhiraman, ACLU of Georgia senior policy counsel. “We have seen instances in the past where the Secretary of State has erroneously removed eligible Georgia voters from the rolls. We want to ensure that removing citizens from the voter rolls is done with the utmost care and highest standards of accuracy and preserves ballot access for eligible voters.”
Download the list of the 102,000 voters from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office HERE.