Today Congressman David Scott (GA-13), along with U.S. Representatives John Lewis (GA-5), Sanford Bishop (GA-2), Hank Johnson (GA-4) and Lucy McBath (GA-6) sent a letter to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger expressing their strong opposition to Georgia plans to purge 330,000 voter registrations.
See the signed version of the letter here and read the text below:
The Honorable Brad Raffensperger
Georgia Secretary of State
214 State Capitol
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Dear Secretary Raffensperger,
We write with grave concern regarding your announcement of the impending termination of 330,000 voter registrations in the state or Georgia. In light of ongoing lawsuits related to voter suppression allegations, such an action would be an egregious error that would impede the ability of eligible Georgians to exercise their constitutional right to cast a ballot.
As you are aware, more than 530,000 voter registrations were removed from Georgia voter rolls in July 2017, which was historically the largest cancellation of voters’ registrations at any one time in U.S. history. In addition, prior to the 2018 elections, “exact match” laws placed more than 50,000 would-be voters in limbo, a move that was widely discovered to disproportionately impact applicants of color. In a state that, until recently, required approval to implement changes to voting measures to ensure the preservation of voting rights for minority voters, these actions are all the more troubling.
While we understand the need to maintain accurate voter lists, the impacts of such sweeping voter roll purges can be profound. Voters who may not realize their registration has been cancelled or who were erroneously removed may be kept from the polls, particularly as Georgia does not allow same day voter registration. And a recent study conducted by the Brennan Center for Justice, using data compiled by the Federal Election Commission, found that between 2016 and 2018, counties with a history of voter discrimination have purged voters from their rolls at rates considerably higher than those counties not formerly covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. In light of these concerning findings, I hope you will take every step necessary to ensure that any changes to the electoral process do not disproportionately or negatively impact voters of color.
As the Secretary of State of Georgia, it is incumbent upon you to fulfill your historic duty and ensure that every eligible Georgian voter is able to exercise their constitutional right to cast a ballot. The state of Georgia, and the entire nation, have faced election and voting security challenges that have eroded the American people’s confidence in the integrity of our federal elections. We urge your careful attention to this important issue and look forward to your prompt response.
Rep. David Scott
Rep. John Lewis
Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr.
Rep. Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.
Rep. Lucy McBath