In Georgia Senate race, Loeffler and Perdue demand updated list of registered voters


Shortly before early voting got started in Georgia on Monday morning for the U.S. Senate runoff elections, the Republican candidates complained because the Board of Elections has not yet made available to the public an updated list of voter registrations.

It is “totally unacceptable” that they cannot yet get a fully updated list, says a statement that U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler published on Twitter on Monday morning on behalf of herself and Sen. David Perdue.

A complete list of newly registered voters is not available to the Democratic candidates, either. The Democrats have not made similar complaints.

Although the registration data is not fully updated, available registration data has been given to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Georgia Elections Division said. The NRSC works to elect Republicans to the Senate; presumably it would share this information with its candidates.

U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler posted this statement about Georgia voter registration data to Twitter on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020.
U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler posted this statement about Georgia voter registration data to Twitter on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020.

Dec. 7 was the deadline to register to vote in this high-profile runoff election, which started Nov. 20 with mail-in balloting and ends Jan. 5.

Republicans Loeffler and Perdue face Democratic challengers Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively. The outcome will determine whether the Democrats take control of the U.S. Senate from the Republicans.

With such high stakes — and with the president and other Republicans continuing to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt about the elections — there is much attention on and tension in the Senate runoffs.

‘Half-truths, misinformation’: Georgia official says Trump supporters misled

Suggestions of shenanigans

Voter registration lists released to the public have the voters’ names, addresses, race, gender, registration dates, and last voting dates. Political campaigns and other groups that seek to influence the elections use this information for voter outreach — to figure out which people to contact to urge them to vote.

But the Loeffler-Perdue statement said the lack of a publicly available list on the first day of early voting could taint the election.

“In-person early voting starts today, and the public remains without a full accounting of who is registered and who may attempt to cast a ballot in the runoff,” the statement says. “This lack of transparency needs to be rectified immediately, or the integrity of our elections will remain threatened.”

Voter registration information is collected and processed by county election offices and then forwarded to the state office, according to the Elections Division of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office said. Registrations closed a week ago and it typically takes longer than seven days for the local and state offices to finish updating the statewide registration data prior to an election, it said.

The agency this year also has stressed the importance of verifying the registrants’ residencies. Voters must live in Georgia in order participate in this election.

Republican President Donald Trump, who lost the general election by 12,670 votes, may have contributed to any delay with the voter registration lists.

Georgia conducted two ballot recounts at Trump’s request, and those took staff time, the Elections Division said. One of the recounts was conducted by hand.

Learn more: Georgia election fraud lawsuit dismissed, results set for second certification

Further, on Dec. 1 some counties had runoffs in three other elections: for the 5th District Congressional seat, a state Senate Democratic primary, and a district attorney seat.

The statement by Perdue and Loeffler made no reference to the added workload of the two Trump recounts or the workload of conducting the other three runoff elections.

FILE- In this July 15, 2020, file photo Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., puts on a face mask as she walks with Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., right, at UPS Hapeville Airport Hub in Atlanta.
FILE- In this July 15, 2020, file photo Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., puts on a face mask as she walks with Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., right, at UPS Hapeville Airport Hub in Atlanta.

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: Kelly Loeffler, David Perdue demand fresh Georgia voter registration data





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