A federal judge in Georgia has allowed the state to continue with a planned removal of “inactive” voters from registration rolls.
U.S. District Judge Steve Jones denied an emergency motion filed Monday by Fair Fight Action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia seeking to stop the state from purging 120,561 so-called inactive voters under the state’s “use it or lose it” law.
Lauren Groh-Wargo, CEO of Fair Fight Action, argued that the purge was unconstitutional.
“Georgians should not lose their right to vote simply because they have not expressed that right in recent elections,” Groh-Wargo said.
In his decision, Jones said voters wrongfully removed could be immediately reinstated.
“It appears that any voter registration cancellations can be undone at a later day,” he wrote. “The court’s ruling is based largely on defense counsel’s statement that any voter registration that is canceled today can be restored within 24 to 48 hours.”
The voter purge comes as part of the Georgia Secretary of State’s legally required plan to update the state’s voter file.
Last month, the office announced it would remove 313,243 voters, or 4 percent of the state’s total vote base, from its rolls. Of the voters to be removed, 108,306 had filed a change of address with the U.S. Postal Service and another 84,376 had election mail returned as undeliverable.
The remaining 120,561 voters had not made contact with county officials since before 2012, it said.
“Election security is my top priority,” said State Secretary Brad Raffensperger. “Accurate and up-to-date voter rolls are vital to secure elections, but at the same time I want to ensure that anyone potentially affected by this routine process has notice and opportunity to update their information.”
Copyright 2019 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.