Local pastor accuses Duval Supervisor of Elections of illegally removing people from voter rolls

Action News Jax Investigates: Voter registration

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax gets answers after a local pastor accuses the Duval County Supervisor of Elections of illegally removing people from the voter registration rolls.

Action News Jax Courtney Cole first told you at noon when Pastor R.L. Gundy, the Florida State Representative of the African American Ministers in Action for People for the American Way, alleged more than 20,000 voters were removed from the rolls.

Action News Jax Courtney Cole spoke to the Supervisor of Elections to separate fact from fiction when it comes to voter registration.

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Pastor Gundy spoke only to Action News Jax about his concerns regarding the 22,000 people he says were removed from the voter registration rolls this year.

He told Cole, according to his research, many of those registrations come from potential voters, who are black.

Gundy said he also believes there’s been an increase in the number of rejections of black registrations in Duval County since Mike Hogan became the Supervisor of Elections.

“I stand on these numbers. No if’s and’s or butts about it, they come directly off of his database,” Gundy said.

Action News Jax’s Courtney Cole took Gundy’s numbers to Hogan.

“You can’t measure what we’ve done today against what we’ve done in the past, because we have a lot more voters now than we had in the past,” Hogan told Cole.

The Supervisor of Elections told her since the 2018 election, there have been 98,000 new registered voters in Duval County.

The next thing he wanted to clarify is: no one’s voter registration application is rejected.

“These are not rejected, they are incomplete. They are actually given a return envelope as well, to send back to us,” Hogan told Action News Jax.

Hogan said the latest list, beginning in February 2020, includes 20,269 voters removed from voter registration rolls.

“4,400 died in that period of time. 13,000 almost 14,000 moved out of the county,” Hogan said.

If you are unsure if you’re registered in Duval County, you can check HERE.

Hogan told me they don’t “purge,” but they do what’s called voter maintenance. They are legally required to do that every year. That means there are legitimate reasons registered voters could be removed from the polls.

Those reasons include:

  • Having a felony conviction, without having rights restored.
  • Death.
  • If you’re not a U.S. citizen.
  • If you don’t have a valid Florida address.
  • If the Supervisor of Elections determines the person is not real (fictitious).
  • Voters can also request to have themselves removed from the rolls.
  • Voters can also get removed if they become inactive. That means if he or she: doesn’t vote, hasn’t updated their voter record, or requested a vote by mail ballot for two subsequent federal general elections.

According to the Florida Division of Elections, a registered voter status changes from active to inactive only if the voter does not respond to a pre-addressed, postage-paid address confirmation final notice within 30 days about whether their registration address is still valid.

“I’m just asking Mr. Hogan to be transparent, have integrity in that office, give everybody an opportunity to have equal access to vote,” said Pastor Gundy.

This isn’t the first time Pastor Gundy has challenged the Supervisor of Elections. Earlier of this month, he also called on Hogan to make voting safer and more accessible.