DeKalb County proposal would open election to fraud, Raffensperger says

Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger on Wednesday called on the DeKalb County Board of Registrations and Elections to rescind its decision to send absentee ballot requests to both active and inactive voters, saying the move increases the possibility of voter fraud and diverts resources from critical voter services, such as proper staffing of polling places.

“Sending absentee ballot requests to inactive voters is a waste of resources and could open the door to fraud,” said Raffensperger. “Individuals looking to undermine the integrity of Georgia’s elections could use the unclaimed requests to obtain absentee ballots fraudulently in the name of people who have moved elsewhere.

The DeKalb County Board of Registrations and Elections recently voted to request funding from the County Commission to send absentee ballot request forms to all registered DeKalb County voters, both active and inactive. The move, according to reports, would costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"Considering the long lines we saw at some polling places in DeKalb County on June 9 and the expected surge in turnout for the November elections, the DeKalb County elections board should focus its energy and resources in way that will better serve the voters," Raffensperger said.

Registrants are added to the inactive list after having no contact with elections officials for five years, either through election activity or even just by updating their driver’s license; if mail sent to their listed address by election officials has been returned as nondeliverable; or if voters have submitted a change of address form to the U.S. Postal Service indicating they moved to a different county or state.

According to the Sec. of State's Office, there are around 7,415,000 registered voters in Georgia. Of those, 411,00, slightly over 5 percent are listed as inactive. The vast majority, 7,004,000 are active voters.

Voters on the inactive list can vote in-person by showing their photo identification at the polling place like any other voter. They would then be returned to the active list.