Though most of the fallout concerning the 2020 election has died down in recent months, a recent announcement by Georgia election officials has sparked a fiery new wave of conspiracy theories.
According to the Daily Wire, the Georgia Secretary of State’s office announced that the state will be cutting some 100,000 names from its voter rolls. State officials are calling the move the “first major list maintenance effort” since the conclusion of the 2020 election, which happens to be in a state repeatedly accused by former President Donald Trump of allowing widespread voter fraud.
Sinister or harmless?
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) made the announcement on Friday, raising immediate questions across social media as to why, suddenly, Georgia officials are worried about voters being on the rolls who are no longer eligible to vote.
In a statement released on the decision to drop the large group of names from the voter rolls, Raffensperger insisted that the procedure is simply part of regular maintenance undertaken after elections, adding, “Making sure Georgia’s voter rolls are up to date is key to ensuring the integrity of our elections.”
In an attempt to defend the move, he recounted a 2019 court battle against failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams in which he emerged victorious in his request to drop hundreds of thousands of ineligible names from the states’ voter rolls ahead of the 2019 election.
“That is why I fought and beat Stacey Abrams in court in 2019 to remove nearly 300,000 obsolete voter files before the November election, and will do so again this year. Bottom line, there is no legitimate reason to keep ineligible voters on the rolls,” Raffensperger added, according to the Daily Wire.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), an avid Trump supporter, slammed Raffensperger on Twitter over the weekend, asking why the ineligible voters are “just now” being removed while claiming that those voters should not have been able to vote in the 2020 election. She concluded her tweet with the hashtag: “#TrumpWon.”
Why are they being removed?
The Georgia secretary of state noted that the primary reason for the mass removal of voters is due to either an address change or because a person hasn’t voted over a period of five consecutive years.
“The 101,789 obsolete voter files that will be removed include 67,286 voter 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 had no-contact with elections officials for at least five years,” Raffensperger’s statement explained, as the Examiner reported.
His statement also revealed that some 18,486 deceased voters were removed from the voter rolls, based on data obtained from Georgia’s Office of Vital Records and the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).
“Then you have 18,000 people who passed. So they are not going to be voting anymore. You need to have accurate voter rolls and proper list maintenance. It also helps your county election directors,” Raffensperger told a reporter for WSB-TV.
Given the fact that President Joe Biden won the usually-red state by a razor-thin margin of just over 12,000 votes, it’s not surprising that many are questioning why the Georgia secretary of state’s office is just now removing such a massive number of ineligible voters from its system.