Lawsuit: Georgia Wrongfully Purged Almost 200,000 Residents From Voter Rolls


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By Araceli Cruz

December 3, 2020

Plaintiffs claim in the lawsuit that Georgia canceled registrations from voter rolls in 2019 and want Georgia residents to be reinstated to vote in Senate runoff elections.

Voting rights advocates are suing Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, claiming that the state purged almost 200,000 Georgia residents from voting registrations, grounded on the baseless claim that these voters had moved. 

The lawsuit, filed on Dec. 2, alleges that these Georgia residents’ votes were hindered for the presidential election. The voting rights groups want their names reinstated as voters for the upcoming Senate runoff election

RELATED: Next Stop, Georgia: The Fight Is on for Democrats to Turn out Voters in the State Runoff

The plaintiffs include Black Voters Matter Fund, Transformative Justice Coalition, and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. They claim the Secretary of State wrongfully canceled the registrations of 199,908 Georgia residents. 

While Raffensperger did not address the lawsuit yesterday during a press conference, Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system implementation manager, did speak on the matter. 

When asked if the state of Georgia had purged voters from the registration, he said, “I’m going to go with no.” He then added, “Frankly, I’ve not seen or heard of this lawsuit yet.” 

“No one is being removed who is not supposed to be already removed,” Sterling said, adding that list maintenance had been conducted in 2020. 

The lawsuit lists a 2019 report by the Palast Investigative Fund published in September by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia. The report titled Georgia Voter Roll Purge Errors concluded the state had likely removed in 2019 the voter registrations of nearly 200,000 Georgia citizens because they had moved from the address on their voter registration application. However, none of the citizens had moved, according to Advanced Address List Hygiene. 

“Unsurprisingly, the state’s removals will likely affect the most vulnerable: young voters, voters of lower-income, and citizens of racial groups that have been denied their sacred right to vote in the past,” the ACLU said in a statement. 

“There are tens of thousands of Georgia voters who have registered, properly maintained a residence in the same county, and nevertheless have had their registration deleted by the state of Georgia,” Andrea Young, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia, said in a statement. “We encourage everyone to check their voter status. Many people on this State’s list have every right to assume they are registered to vote. We want you to have time to re-register.”

RELATED: Live in Georgia? Double Check Your Voter Registration Now. Here’s How.

On Nov. 23, a viral TikTok alleged that some Georgia voters’ registrations were being purged. The woman who appears in the video, whose name has not been identified, stated that it is her job to register voters in Georgia as a committee member. She said that out of 11 registered voters she spoke to, 10 of them had been purged from their voter registration. She also said they were all Black women. Other committee members stated similar experiences with people who believed they were already registered to vote.


CATEGORIES: Elections | Georgia | Voting


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