Activists Sue Georgia for Purging Minority Voters

Voting activists have announced a lawsuit against Georgia Secretary of State and GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp, alleging he used a racially-biased method to purge roughly 700,000 voters from the rolls ahead of the November election.

The lawsuit, which was announced on October 9, 2018, alleges that Kemp has not notified the affected voters—who represent roughly one in ten Georgians eligible to cast ballots—that they have been removed from the rolls over the last two years.

In additional to legal action, the activists worked to make the list of purged voters public so that individuals could check for their names and then re-register before the October 9 deadline.

Kemp’s office relies on the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program to maintain Georgia’s rolls. But the Crosscheck system is extremely flawed. One Registration Act includes protections against types of voter roll maintenance programs that inadvertently remove properly registered voters. The Motor Voter law specifically prohibits states from removing the names of registered voters because they did not vote in previous elections, one of the reasons given by Kemp for purging many of the names.

In addition, it has been reported that the mailers used to contact voters to find out if they were still at their previously registered address—mailers that required them to respond or be purged if they did not—were designed to look like junk mail rather than official mailings from the Secretary of State.

Several organizations are moving forward with additional legal actions to force Kemp to return voters who were purged to the voting rolls before the upcoming election on Nov. 6.

 

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