The state of Georgia is being accused of wrongfully removing nearly 200,000 people from its voter rolls in 2019, according to a new report commissioned by the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) Georgia chapter. Research for the report, which was done by the nonpartisan Palast Investigative Fund, began after Georgia’s secretary of state announced in Oct. 2019 that they would remove around 313,000 from the state’s voter rolls because they died, moved, or hadn’t participated in any recent elections.
The new report, however, alleges that the Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office ended up removing thousands of people who did not move at all. The report said 198, 351 voters were falsely removed.
The Palast Investigative Fund hired five firms to conduct address verification and double-check those who were removed. The group said that three out of four voters marked as being on the National Change of Address list are actually not on it.
“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.”
In the past, Raffensperger had been accused of making the move as a form of voter suppression. Raffensperger’s office had previously said those removed from the list were people who didn’t respond to a notice sent to them to verify whether they still lived at an address.
Also included on the list of those removed were people who hadn’t participated in the election in the past three years, according to his office.
"The real takeaway from this is the state of Georgia is using a methodology for maintaining its voter rolls that is both more expensive and less accurate than what industry would use to maintain a high-quality mailing list," Young told CNN.