After the Republican-led state legislature, earlier this year forced through new laws severely restricting the ability to cast a ballot — laws that disproportionately affect Black voters in particular — the man who oversees elections in Georgia is now threatening to purge more than 100,000 registered voters from the rolls just weeks ahead of special runoff elections to fill a vacant State House seat, reports NewsOne.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger last week made the names public of about 102,000 registered voters who he said have moved or haven’t voted in recent elections, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Both factors are reasons to remove their names from the voting rolls, Raffensperger threatened.
Those 102,000 voters will be notified by the state. If they respond within 40 days, their right to vote in the July 13 election will be reinstated. If not, their names will be purged. However, there are just 22 days remaining until the election next month.
Raffensperger said in a statement that he’s previously purged far more voters from the rolls than just 102,000 and said he would have no problem doing the same again. He referenced voting rights champion Stacey Abrams in a brief statement about his decision to take action against Georgia’s voter rolls.
“Making sure Georgia’s voter rolls are up to date is key to ensuring the integrity of our elections. 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,” said Raffensperger, who was Gov. Brian Kemp’s running mate in 2018 on the Republican ticket. “Bottom line, there is no legitimate reason to keep ineligible voters on the rolls.”
Raffensperger was referring to the lead-up to the 2020 election when a judge ruled that more than 300,000 voters from the rolls in what seemed like a partisan effort to affect last year’s election. To Republicans’ dismay, of course, Abrams’ hard work to register voters paid off for Democrats, flipping the traditionally red state blue and securing the crucial Electoral College votes that Joe Biden needed to win his presidency.