Georgia’s election news focuses on President Donald Trump’s legal battle to benefit the state, but the plaintiffs in a new lawsuit say the real attention should be paid to the people who were removed from the electoral roll before election day.
“We haven’t seen mass voter fraud, but we’ve definitely seen mass voter repression,” said LaTosha Brown, co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund and litigant. “These people should not be denied the right to vote.”
A lawsuit filed on Wednesday alleges the state mistakenly canceled the registration of 198,000 voters because they mistakenly believed they had moved. Since the Senate election will only take place in a few weeks, the plaintiffs say it is vital that this electoral issue is resolved in a timely manner, as this could affect who will take over the Senate in January.
The news of the illegal clean-up first appeared in September when the ACLU issued a report. Greg Palast, of Palast Investigative Fund, led the investigation and hired companies to look for a list of 313,243 citizens who will be removed from Georgia’s voter list with the postal service registry and the Advanced Address List Hygiene, an industry standard for home addresses. certificate. “Eventually, 198,351 voters were found for cancellation but did not move.
Palast said they are now filing the lawsuit because they have had to wait 90 days since they informed the secretary of state of their findings. In the lawsuit, Foreign Minister Brad Raffensperger is accused of violating the National Voter Registration Act by using an unlicensed contractor to compile a list of voters.
“We demand that these voters be put back on the list now, before the Senate runs,” Palast said.
In Georgia, a Senate candidate must get at least 50 percent of the vote to be declared a winner. As none of the candidates in any of the Senate races reached this threshold, both races moved to the January 5 election.
Republican officials, Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, are fighting to keep their seats as Democrat challengers seek to oust them out of office and control the Senate. If Democratic challengers Reverael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are able to win their elections, it will create a 50-50 partisan rift in the Senate. This effectively gives Democrats control, because in the event of a stalemate, elected Vice President Kamala Harris gives the tie.
Trump, who is campaigning for Loeffler and Perdue, put pressure on Georgian Governor Brian Kemp to step in, requiring the verification of signatures and the counting of signed envelopes against ballot papers. He also called on Kemp to overturn Raffensperger, who vindicated the results of the November 20 election, and his campaign has filed a lawsuit over “massive election fraud.”
So far, none of Trump’s lawsuits have moved the needle to overthrow the election of President-elect Joe Biden. But lawyer Gerald Griggs, who is filing the annulled voter lawsuit, is confident it will be successful. He called it “based on facts and laws,” and said the evidence presented by Palast would “affect” the Senate’s competition.
“We need to ensure that we protect this fundamental right in the birthplace of civil rights,” Griggs said.
In September, Undersecretary of State Jordan Fuchs called Palast “Stacey Abrams shill” in his response to CNN and rejected the “research” in the Georgian ACLU report. Fuchs pointed to the 2019 story of WSB-TV journalist Justin Gray, who inspected 30 houses in a West Atlanta neighborhood and found that every home belonged to a person who died or moved. His survey focused on homes that are listed as “no contact,” indicating that they did not vote in elections, update their information, or respond to letters.
Raffensperger denied that removing registrations would qualify as “cleansing,” instead calling it “list maintenance,” which was necessary to maintain the integrity of the election. The Secretary of State also pointed to an increase in voter registration to show that the state values high-turnout elections.
Lawyers said removing the names was an attempt to suppress voters and fought to get the names back on the electoral roll.
In 2019, an organization called Fair Fight Action, founded by Stacy Abrams to suppress voters, fought to remove about 120,000 voters and the state reinstated about 22,000 names, but in a verdict Steve Jones upheld the decision to remove nearly 100,000 people. decision names from the electoral rolls. Jones has decided that the Fair Fight Action does not prove that the state violated the decision to cancel the registration of inactive voters.
Barbara Arnwine, a professor in Columbia University’s Faculty of Law and the plaintiff in Wednesday’s lawsuit, called the lawsuit “absolutely critical” because voting is one of the few rights granted to citizens in the Constitution, except on certain constitutional grounds.
“They have declared to the world that they want to participate in our democracy,” Arnwine said. “Then you remove them for illegal, sad reasons?” Outrageous.