Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's call to remove just over 100,000 voter files from the rolls there has met with claims from former President Donald Trump that the move means he won the election in Georgia, but Gov. Brian Kemp told Newsmax that clearing the rolls is something that is done under the guidelines of federal law and that they could not have been removed sooner.
"Federal law does not allow you to do that," the Republican governor, who has often come under fire from Trump after the 2020 election, told Newsmax's "John Bachman Now". "It's really the process of keeping your role secure...the state of Georgia has always followed federal law when it comes to this, as do many other states around the country."
The names that are removed include those of people who have died, or maybe moved to another state, he added.
"The way the law reads, you have to go through general election cycles before you can start removing those," said Kemp. "Notice is required, and so Georgia is simply following the law."
Trump, after the news broke about the name purge, said in a statement that "they had us losing by a very small number of votes, many times less than the 101,007 figure. This means that we won the presidential election in Georgia."
Kemp, however, said the roll purge is a common action, and he recalled when he "got persecuted from the left" when he was secretary of state because at one point a half-million people were removed from the rolls.
"It had been seven or eight years since they had voted, which is what we're supposed to be doing to keep the rolls secure before an election," Kemp said. "There are also rules that dictate when you can do that; there are certain dates before an election."
Meanwhile, between the voter roll cleanout and other matters, Georgia has often come under fire since the 2020 election, but Kemp said he thinks the state's controversial Elections Integrity Act, which has been derided by Democrats as "Jim Crow 2.0" will actually restore the faith in the state's voting process.
"Now they're changing their position and supporting federal legislation that does many of the things that we've always done in Georgia, which is just the period of hypocrisy," said Kemp. "You obviously have a judicial ruling that we're waiting on right now. So it's going to be interesting to see what happens there."
Meanwhile, Kemp slammed the federal "For the People Act," which was blocked by Republicans in the Senate Tuesday, as an "unconstitutional power draft."
"The states are supposed to decide their own laws when it comes to elections," said Kemp. "That's what we've done in Georgia this year. We've done it after big elections many times in our state. On the flip side of that, you have Democrats like Bill Gardner in New Hampshire. They don't have any early voting. They don't want the feds telling them how they have to vote. They have some of the largest turnouts in the country."
But the founding fathers' belief that elections can be kept safe against foreign interference by allowing states to determine election laws has "never been more pertinent than today," said Kemp. "That's the way it should be and I'm glad the Senate blocked that legislation yesterday."
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