Hundreds of senior citizens at a Southwest Atlanta high rise are concerned they may lose their right to vote. Betty Walton has lived at the Atrium at Collegetown for nearly a decade, but according to Fulton County, her address isn’t real. “That doesn’t make any sense. You can see the building, so it does exist,” said Walton. Walton is one of hundreds of seniors who may soon be removed from the voter rolls because of a mistake by the Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections. About a week ago, the department sent out a letter telling Walton and others like her that they had to provide proof that their address was valid. The letter said if they didn’t, they would be purged from the voter rolls.
“I was shocked because why would you send letters out? Why would you go that far to send letters out? What it is going to do is scare a lot of seniors. They are going to think they should not vote because they received a letter,” said Walton. “I think it is irresponsible for the director of the board of elections to sign his name to this letter without the proper investigation,” said Rashard Taylor, a state representative from Atlanta. “Purging someone from the rolls, taking away their right to vote ought to be an uphill battle. There ought to be several hurdles you have to go through, it shouldn’t be an easy task to do.”
Samuel Westmoreland, the director of registration and elections, refused to answer CBS Atlanta’s Tough Questions on camera, but he did release this statement. “It is the responsibility of the Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections to vigilantly maintain the accuracy of voter rolls, which consist of nearly 700,000 electors. Georgia state law provides for procedures for verification of voter addresses in order to ensure that voter rolls are current and accurate.