Raffensperger says federal law kept Georgia from deleting obsolete voters from 2020 rolls

Voters "should be asking Congress to do something" about 30-year-old voting law, secretary of state claims.

Updated: July 1, 2021 - 7:09am

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Wednesday said that a provision in federal voting law that restricts when states can do voter roll maintenance prevented his state from purging outdated voter rolls through the entirety of 2020. 

Raffensperger made the claim in an interview on the John Solomon Reports podcast. The state official said that Congress "definitely" needs to reexamine the 1993 Voter Registration Act, specifically the provision prohibiting states from performing routine voter roll maintenance in the 90 days prior to a federal primary or general election. 

Federal primary elections in Georgia were rescheduled several times throughout last year, continuously pushing the 90-day window forward through the election year.

The original March 24 presidential primary date precluded any voter roll maintenance at the start of the year. That primary was eventually rescheduled for May and then June. 

And, finally, scheduling of the state's Aug. 11 primary congressional runoffs foreclosed any possibility that Georgia could conduct voter roll maintenance prior to the Nov. 3 election less than 90 days later. 

Raffensperger told Solomon that the 1993 Voter Registration Act was put into place "with a Democrat Congress, Democrat Senate and President Bill Clinton" and that the bill commanded "no bipartisan support."

He said that people generally "don't understand how dynamic or how mobile our society is" and that huge numbers of individuals moving both in and out of a state prior to an election can create rapidly out-of-date voter rolls. 

"The NVRA really hurts us when it comes into election years," he said. "And people rightly should be asking Congress to do something in a bipartisan nature. Let's fix that."

"Our society is just so mobile, it really doesn't lend to having clean, accurate voter rolls," he added. 

Raffensperger's office last month removed around 100,000 outdated names from the state's voting rolls, plus nearly 20,000 deceased individuals.