Reid Wrongly Claims Georgia Purges Voters After Not Voting in Just Two Elections

October 28th, 2018 7:52 PM

On Saturday's AM Joy on MSNBC, as host Joy Reid devoted a segment to claims of Georgia Republicans engaging in voter suppression against Democrats, she was the latest liberal media figure to wrongly claim voters are purged if they skip voting for just a few years. In fact, it takes at least seven years of not voting to be dropped from the voter rolls in Georgia.



Additionally, MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson asserted that the state's gubernatorial nominee Brian Kemp "was caught on tape basically saying, 'I hope brown people don't come out and vote.'"

The segment began at 10:42 a.m. Eastern with a clip of Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams complaining about GOP nominee and current Secretary of State Kemp "purging" large numbers of voters from the rolls and calling it "voter suppression," with part of Kemp's rebuttal.

After referring to "weeks of disturbing reports of efforts to suppress the votes of minorities in Georgia," the MSNBC host informed viewers of a recent court ruling making it more difficult to reject absentee votes when signatures do not match exactly.

She soon played a clip of an audio recording of Kemp recently expressing concerns to donors that his campaign would have to work hard to increase the number of Republican voters to offset expected increases in Democratic voters.

After playing another clip of Abrams complaining about voter purges, Reid repeated misinformation as she elaborated: "The concern that Representative Abrams is expressing there is because voter purge data -- no voting or other contact with the electoral system in two campaign cycles gets you purged in Georgia."

However, it actually takes seven years of not voting and of not responding to an address verification inquiry during that time to be purged.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer and John Avlon have also made this incorrect claim.

The MSNBC host then cited data for more than half a million Georgia voters purged in 2017.

After guest Latosha Brown of Black Voters Matter was given a chance to complain about voter purges, Reid finally got around to admitting that Secretary of State Kemp is following a law passed by Democrats in 1997 that requires such purges. Reid: "I should note that Kemp's office claims that he's following a 1997 law passed when Democrats controlled the legislature which requires election officials to clean up the voter list every odd-numbered year between statewide elections."

She also noted that "this law was not carried out in 2015 due to a legal challenge."

But, unfazed, the MSNBC host soon commented that Kemp "has a self interest" in purging the voter rolls.

After noting that Kemp has been criticized for taking a photograph with a man who has since been found to have posted incendiary writings, even though the Republican candidate would not have known about the writings ahead of time, Johnson soon claimed that Kemp does not want "brown people" voting. Johnson: "The man was caught on tape basically saying, 'I hope brown people don't come out and vote."

He soon added, "Brian Kemp's job is to make sure that you can vote, and he's trying to stop that."