CNN ran a headline on Sunday that misleadingly claimed “Georgia removes 100,000 names from voter registration rolls,” omitting the fact that all states remove inactive, moved, or deceased voters from their rolls on a regular basis.
Critics asserted that CNN intentionally implied that Georgia was randomly removing people from the voter rolls with one going so far as stating: “This is journalistic malpractice. You left out that this is normal and not something nefarious.” CNN allegedly tried to conflate the purging of the voter rolls with numerous states including Georgia passing voter integrity laws.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced last week that the state was planning to remove 101,789 “obsolete and outdated” voter files from the state’s voter registration rolls. The latest removal reportedly amounts to 1.4 percent of Georgia’s 7.8 million registered voters but is a smaller amount than in 2017. During that year, 534,000 voter registrations were removed from the rolls.
“Making sure Georgia’s voter rolls are up to date is key to ensuring the integrity of our elections,” Raffensperger declared in a statement. “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.”
(Video Credit: 11Alive)
“In a click-driven age, there’s a dangerous tendency to conflate changes that are best practice/required by federal law with developments that could actually risk election subversion,” Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman noted concerning the headlining of the purge. “Given the stakes, it’s imperative for news organizations to be careful and clear.”
In a click-driven age, there's a dangerous tendency to conflate changes that are best practice/required by federal law with developments that could actually risk election subversion.
Given the stakes, it's imperative for news organizations to be careful and clear.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) June 20, 2021
This is journalistic malpractice. You left out that this is normal and not something nefarious.
— Craig Hohmann (@HohmannCraig) June 20, 2021
“Purging redundancies from voter lists and registration rolls is an important maintenance task. It ensures greater accuracy,” another commenter explained. “I recommend CNN make this clear to viewers by running a segment explaining the importance of keeping registration rolls and voter list up to date.”
Purging redundancies from voter lists and registration rolls is an important maintenance task. It ensures greater accuracy.
I recommend CNN make this clear to viewers by running a segment explaining the importance of keeping registration rolls and voter list up to date.
— B3man (@B3man1) June 20, 2021
Leading the media pack on disinformation was MSNBC’s Joy Reid who warned Georgians to “protect your vote” from the state’s Republican governor.
“Check your registration, Georgians!” she urged voters. “Protect your vote from @BrianKempGA and his party. They’re purging the rolls to try and redo Kemp’s subtraction tricks when he first ran for Governor against Stacey Abrams and knocked thousands off the rolls.”
Reid was not alone in her biased attack. MSNBC’s Kyle Griffin also jumped on board.
“Be warned: Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State has announced that more than 100,000 names will be removed from Georgia’s voter registration rolls,” he wrote.
Check your registration, Georgians! Protect your vote from @BrianKempGA and his party. They’re purging the rolls to try and redo Kemp’s subtraction tricks when he first ran for Governor against Stacey Abrams and knocked thousands off the rolls. Some help: https://t.co/3uX4Kugjc3 https://t.co/VJwDClxrhC
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) June 20, 2021
Following in the footsteps of CNN’s hosts, Robert Reich, former labor secretary under President Bill Clinton, labeled the purge as an “attack” on our democracy.
Our democracy is under attack. https://t.co/6mjF1tfKTj
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) June 20, 2021
Those slated to be removed from Georgia’s voting rolls include 67,286 individuals who have filed a change of address form, 34,227 who had election mail returned to sender, and 276 who had not voted in two general election cycles, Fox News reported. An additional 18,846 had died.
“These people don’t live in Georgia anymore. 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 asserted during an interview with Atlanta’s WSB-TV.
“The last time Secretary Raffensperger conducted a massive voter purge, he was forced to admit 22,000 errors — 22,000 Georgia voters who would have been kicked off the rolls were it not for Fair Fight Action’s diligence. We’ll be reviewing the list thoroughly and reaching out to impacted voters,” Lauren Groh-Gargo, who is the CEO of Fair Fight Action, stated to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The voter roll cleansing is required by law in Georgia. Raffensberger’s office published a list of all 101,789 names and has given Georgians 40 days to take action if their name was incorrectly included.
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