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Wednesday May 18th, 2022 1:10PM

Forsyth Co. voter eligibility challenge rejected

By Jonathan O'Brien Anchor/Reporter
  Contact Editor

Members of the Forsyth County election board unanimously rejected a challenge from a man alleging that 8% of the county's more than 172,000 voters were not eligible to cast a ballot. 

The challenger, Frank Schneider, said in his complaint that the addresses of more than 12,000 voters did not match data from the National Change of Address Database. The site, which uses Postal Service records is updated every three to six months. 

Schneider filed the challenge under a provision of Georgia's election law passed in 2021.

"I think some of the board's concern was that they're still trying to figure out what constitutes a valid challenge and what constitutes probable cause under the state's election law," said Shannon McCaffrey, a political reporter with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I also think that the timeline was something that board members were concerned about just because we are so close to the primary." 

If the challenge had succeeded, voters would not have been barred from casting a ballot; instead, the county would've had to verify their addresses through individual mailing cards, and if voters failed to return the cards before showing up to vote, they would've been flagged. 

According to McCaffrey, they would then have to confirm their address on-site or could cast a provisional ballot."So it wouldn't prevent you from voting, but it would create some additional hurdles to get your vote counted," she said. 

McCaffrey said the board left open the possibility of hearing from Schneider again if more reliable evidence were brought to light.

"I think this is the beginning of movements that you're going to see more and more, both in Forsyth County and around the state," McCaffrey said. "Groups who are mounting these voter challenges really seem like they are testing out some of these cases in various counties just to get a sense of what they're going to do."

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