Advocacy groups accuse Ga. Secretary of State of wrongly removing voters from election rolls

Some groups want to get nearly 200,000 people re-registered to vote ahead of the upcoming senate runoff.

Attorneys representing several advocacy groups went before a judge Thursday alleging Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger wrongly removed voters' names from election rolls.

The nearly 40-page lawsuit points to three alleged violations by Secretary Raffensperger.

Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts

Attorneys with  Black Voters Matter", the ACLU, and other groups claim nearly 200,000 Georgian’s wrongfully lost their right to vote last year based on an incorrect assumption that they had changed their residence.

"it is not appropriate for a single voter to be improperly purged from the rolls - much less 197,000," Attorney CK Hoffler told the court.

They allege the state violated state law by failing to use the US Postal Service licensee to determine if a voter had filed a change of address.

"At stake here, is people's right and ability to vote. That should not be subjected to voter suppression period," Attorney Hoffler detailed.

However, during the nearly three-hour hearing, attorneys for the state disputed that claim saying they were in compliance with the law because their information came from an official full-service specialist.

Raffensperger's attorneys called out the opposing counsel for waiting until now to file this lawsuit - when these concerns were initially discovered in 2019.

"I think that we made our argument in court and I think the judge will take that into consideration," Attorney Gerald Griggs explained. "Again, the judge has all the evidence and all the testimony."

Raffensberger's office has denied claims of voter purges. During Thursday's hearing, the Secretary's attorneys told the court he still has not received the information about what allegedly went wrong.

The groups named in the lawsuit hope to get the nearly 200,000 voters registered ahead of the January senate race, even though the deadline has already passed.

"It can have a substantial effect on the upcoming runoff. That's why we filed a lawsuit and that's why it's important for people to understand voting rights are at stake," Attorney Griggs said.

With the election just weeks away, attorneys for the state told the judge there could be problems trying to those people processed now.

They contend this case should have been brought forward nearly a year ago.

WATCH: FOX 5 Atlanta live news coverage

Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.