Law & Order

Federal Judge Could Allow 200K Georgia Voters Purged in 2019 Be Restored for Runoff


Federal Judge Steve C. Jones, a Barack Obama appointee, is set to decide whether some 200,000 people purged from the Georgia voter rolls in 2019 can be put back on, allowing them to cast a ballot in the January 5 runoff election for two Senate seats.

The Law 360 website reported on the consequential case:

U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones said at the end of a three-hour hearing Thursday that he’ll decide “pretty quickly” whether to grant a request by four multi-state voter and civil rights organizations to re-register the purged voters. Voter registration for Georgia’s senatorial runoffs, which will decide the balance of power between Democrats and Republicans in the upper chamber, closed Monday.

Counsel for the plaintiff organizations said the state did not follow federal law when it determined in 2019 that 313,243 voters should be removed because they had died or moved out of the jurisdiction in which they were registered to vote. The organizations said their experts found through several system checks that 199,908 of those purged were likely still eligible to vote.

“If one person, if two people don’t have the ability to vote because they were wrongly purged, that’s one or two too many,” said Tricia P. Hoffler of The CK Hoffler Firm, an attorney for the organizations. “People died so we could vote.”

The left-wing groups seeking judicial intervention in the runoff include the Transformative Justice Coalition, Rainbow Push Coalition, Black Voters Matter Fund, and Southwest Voter Registration Education Project.

The groups sued Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on December 2, claiming violations of the National Voter Registration Act and the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of voting rights.

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