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SoS Claims Dekalb Inactive Voter Plan “Would Open Election to Fraud” — Here are the Facts

08/05/2020 — This morning, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office released a press statement on the SOS website titled, “DEKALB COUNTY PROPOSAL WOULD OPEN ELECTION TO FRAUD.” This statement is posted under “Latest Election News” but the article is actually only an opinion held by the SoS as he requested Dekalb County rescind their decision to send absentee ballot requests to both active and inactive voters.

It should be noted that nothing in the statement is attributed to any research nor were there any orders to change county plans.

“Sending absentee ballot requests to inactive voters is a waste of resources and could open the door to fraud,” said Raffensperger. 

The AJC also covered this story and, when they contacted DeKalb elections board chairman Sam Tillman, he said he hadn’t seen Raffensperger’s statements. But he wasn’t inclined to reconsider.

“An inactive voter has every right that an active voter has to vote,” Tillman said.

In the midst of a pandemic, we applaud Dekalb County for affording every citizen a safe option to cast their vote.

The Facts:

  • In Georgia, voters are considered inactive after having “no contact” with elections officials for five years, either through voting or by updating their driver’s license information. Voters can also be marked inactive if mail sent by elections officials has been returned as non-deliverable.
  • Inactive voters are still registered and can cast ballots. They are not eligible to be removed from voter rolls until two years after the five-year no-contact period.
  • Ahead of June’s primary election, Raffensberger’s office sent absentee ballot applications to Georgia’s 6.9 million active voters, but not to those on the inactive list. The secretary of state has said he has no intention of sending unsolicited applications to any voters ahead of November’s general election.
  • As of July 21, there were 526,793 active and 28,993 inactive voters in DeKalb, according to the state’s list of registered voters.

Have questions about absentee voting?

Here are more resources around absentee voting and fraud:

Low rates of fraud in vote-by-mail states show the benefits outweigh the risks – Brookings Institute

Debunking the Voter Fraud Myth — Brennan Center for Justice

Minuscule number of potentially fraudulent ballots in states with universal mail voting undercuts Trump claims about election risks — Washington Post

Why Is Voting By Mail (Suddenly) Controversial? Here’s What You Need To Know — NPR

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