Speed Reads

voting rules

Citing 'use it or lose it' law, judge rules Georgia doesn't need to restore 98,000 voters

U.S. District Judge Steve Jones on Friday denied efforts to restore about 98,000 Georgia voters who were taken off the state's voter rolls earlier this month because they had not participated in elections for more than eight years.

Jones upheld the cancellations under Georgia's "use it or lose it" law which allows state officials to remove inactive registered voters. The plaintiffs, Jones wrote in his 32-page decision, did not show how the cancellations violated the U.S. Constitution, but he added they could still ask the Georgia Supreme Court to interpret the state's law about inactive voters. The plaintiffs, led by voting rights group Fair Fight Action, appear ready to do just that, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The decision received praise from Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. "Judge Jones upheld Georgia's decision to continue to maintain clean voter rolls," he said. "Despite activists' efforts and lawsuits that only waste taxpayer dollars, Georgia is continuing to ensure every eligible voter can vote and voter lists remain accurate."

In total, 287,000 voter registrations were canceled in Georgia in December, though many of those were because the voters had moved away. Read more at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Reuters.