Statement from Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp

6
Apr

Statement from Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp

On the morning of April 3, 2015, a change in leadership was made in the Elections Division of the Office of the Secretary of State.   I asked for and received the resignation of Elections Director Linda Ford.

Effective immediately, Ann Hicks will begin service as Interim Elections Director.  Ann has extensive experience in the Elections Division.  She has worked with seven Secretaries of State and served as Elections Director from 2010-2011.

As part of our regular process to keep the voter registration roll up to date, every election cycle, there is a process to change the status of long-time, Inactive voters to Cancelled Status. This is a standard process required by law, and there are strict deadlines and procedures for how this is done.

This process was conducted on February 19, 2014, and moved 312,712 voters from Inactive to Cancelled Status.  However, an investigation conducted at my direction revealed that six days later, 7,690 voters were moved from Inactive to Cancelled Status. This change was within 90 days of an election and conducted under Linda Ford’s supervision.

I want to emphasize that this process only affects voters in Inactive Status who have not voted in two general election cycles and did not respond to written notice.  The 7,690 voters who were moved from Inactive to Cancelled Status should have been part of the February 19 process.  Again, the issue at hand has only to do with the timing and the fact that they were moved within the 90 days before an election.

All of the voter records moved from Inactive to Cancelled Status met the requirements for having their status changed.  These changes simply took place after the federal deadline.  This situation may seem like a minor issue to some, but to me, it is very serious.

Finally, I want to thank Linda for her years of service to the Office of the Secretary of State.  Linda came into the office every day fully committed to serving the citizens of Georgia.  This situation is very unfortunate, and I wish Linda only good things in all her future endeavors.

The Georgia Office of the Secretary of State will continue to work every day to provide secure, accessible and fair elections.

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