CNN was the focus of criticism on Sunday following a misleading headline concerning Georgia’s purge of outdated voter files from the state’s voter registration roll.

The CNN story, headlined, “Georgia removes 100,000 names from voter registration rolls” riled up Twitter critics, who accused the left-leaning outlet of intentionally omitting “a rather important detail that every U.S. state routinely removes moved/inactive voters from their rolls as a best practice of election administration.”


“In a click-driven age, there’s a dangerous tendency to conflate changes that are best practice/required by federal law with developments that could actually risk election subversion,” Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman wrote. “Given the stakes, it’s imperative for news organizations to be careful and clear.”

“This is journalistic malpractice,” another user agreed. “You left out that this is normal and not something nefarious.”

“Purging redundancies from voter lists and registration rolls is an important maintenance task. It ensures greater accuracy,” others explained. “I recommend CNN make this clear to viewers by running a segment explaining the importance of keeping registration rolls and voter list up to date.”

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced last week his plan to remove 101,789 “obsolete and outdated” voter files from the state’s voter registration rolls.

“Making sure Georgia’s voter rolls are up to date is key to ensuring the integrity of our elections,” Raffensperger said in a statement. “That is why I fought and beat Stacey Abrams in court in 2019 to remove nearly 300,000 obsolete voter files before the November election, and will do so again this year. Bottom line, there is no legitimate reason to keep ineligible voters on the rolls.”

MSNBC host Joy Reid wasted little time tweeting out the misleading CNN headline, warning Georgians to “protect your vote” from the state’s Republican governor.

“Check your registration, Georgians!” she warned. “Protect your vote from @BrianKempGA and his party. They’re purging the rolls to try and redo Kemp’s subtraction tricks when he first ran for Governor against Stacey Abrams and knocked thousands off the rolls.” 

MSNBC’s Kyle Griffin also followed suit.

“Be warned: Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State has announced that more than 100,000 names will be removed from Georgia’s voter registration rolls,” he wrote.

Labor secretary under President Bill Clinton, Robert Reich called the announcement an attack on our democracy. 

Fox News reported that the more than 100,000 voter files set to be removed include 67,286 voter files linked to a National Change of Address form submitted to the U.S. Postal Service; 34,227 voter files that had election mail returned to sender; and nearly 300 that had no contact with elections official for two general elections.

Raffensperger also removed 18,486 voter files of dead people according to Georgia’s Office of Vital Records and the 30-state Electronic Registration Information Center.

“These people don’t live in Georgia anymore. Then you have 18,000 people who passed. So they are not going to be voting anymore. You need to have accurate voter rolls and proper list maintenance. It also helps your county election directors,” Raffensperger told Atlanta’s WSB-TV.


Officials say the periodic voter roll cleanup is required by law, according to WSB-TV. Raffensberger’s office also published a list of all 101,789 names and gave Georgians 40 days to take action if their name is wrongly included.

Fox News’ Evie Fordham contributed to this report.

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