ATLANTA - Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger put 101,789 potential voters on notice Friday that they’re about to be purged from the state’s voter rolls.

Other than the regular monthly removals of voter files for felony convictions and death, this will be the first major cleaning up of the voter rolls since 2019. That purge sparked a legal challenge from Fair Fight Action, a voting rights advocacy group founded by 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams.

Raffensperger, a Republican, described the upcoming purge as fulfilling his responsibility to update voter registration rolls periodically.

“Making sure Georgia’s voter rolls are up to date is key to ensuring the integrity of our elections,” Raffensperger said Friday. “That is why I fought and beat Stacey Abrams in court in 2019 to remove nearly 300,000 obsolete voter files before the November [2020] election and will do so again this year. Bottom line, there is no legitimate reason to keep ineligible voters on the rolls.”

The 2019 purge pales in comparison to the purge then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp – now Georgia’s governor – conducted in 2017. A record 534,000 names were removed from the voter rolls that year.

Federal law prohibits removing voters from the rolls during general election years due to federal mandates before federal elections. After the 2020 election cycle ended, Raffensperger said he made it a priority to resume the process.

The voter files the secretary identified as obsolete include 67,286 files associated with a National Change of Address form submitted to the U.S. Postal Service, 34,227 voter files that had election mail returned to sender, and 276 that have had no contact with elections officials for at least five years.\

In each case, the individual has had no contact with Georgia election officials in any way - either directly or through the state Department of Driver Services – for two general elections.

Raffensperger’s office also removed 18,486 voter files of dead people based on information received from Georgia’s Office of Vital Records and the Electronic Registration Information Center, an interstate partnership of 30 states and the District of Columbia focused on maintaining accurate voter rolls.

Georgians targeted for removal from the voter rolls will have a chance to stay on the list. Election officials plan to mail notification letters to people on the list for removal, giving them 40 days to respond.

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