Ga. Secretary of State says his office is preparing for 'routine' voter purge to maintain election integrity

In this Dec. 14, 2020 file photo, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Georgia’s Secretary of State says tens of thousands of people previously registered to vote could be removed from the state’s voter rolls.

Republican Brad Raffensperger says many have either registered to vote, or registered for a driver’s license, in another state. An additional 155,000 voters have filed a change of address notice. Depending on if they’re moving within their county, to another part of Georgia, or entirely out of state can complicate how county election records are updated.

Raffensperger told WABE that the only people that will be removed from the state voter rolls are people that don’t live in Georgia anymore or who’ve passed away.

But the Georgia SOS office has been accused of disenfranchising voters in the past with these purges, especially voters of color.

A WABE and American Public Media Reports investigation found that, in July 2017, state officials removed more than half a million Georgians from the voter rolls because they had been flagged for various reasons, including not voting during previous elections.

All that happened before Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams ran against then-GOP Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Update July 8, 2022: The Secretary of State’s office reached out after the publishing of this story to take issue with the use of “purge” in the article: “The word ‘purge’ is a poll-tested term, politically charged, and should be removed from use by any and every credible journalist,” Jordan Fuchs, Deputy Secretary of State.