Georgia’s Latest Voter Registration Purge Digs Up Fears of Voter Suppression

Ayear after a gubernatorial race plagued by voter suppression, Georgia will conduct a massive voter purge that will affect an estimated 4 percent of voters.The Secretary of State’s Office announced that the latest purge, set for December, will remove more than 300,000 voters. The reason? They haven’t voted in years.

Why It Matters

Georgia has long been accused of voter suppression. In 2017, the state conducted the largest single voter removal in the United States ever registered when it purged 534,119 registrations.

During last year’s gubernatorial election, Republican Brian Kemp, then-Georgia’s secretary of state, declared a narrow victory of just 1.4 percent over Democrat Stacey Abrams. Kemp was accused of manipulating votes by leading voter purges in communities likely to swing Democrat, The New York Times reported.

In next year’s election, voters in Georgia will not only choose who they want in the White House, but also two US Senate seats. Those seats, currently held by retiring Republicans, could affect which party gains control of the Senate. Fair Fight Action, the advocacy organization launched by Stacey Abrams, criticized the Secretary of State’s office for its decision.

“Voters should not lose their right to vote simply because they have decided not to express that right in recent elections,” Fair Fight CEO Lauren Groh-Wargo said in a statement. “Having a long history of voter suppression, the Georgia Secretary of State’s office has a responsibility to guarantee that not a single voter is wrongly included on the purge list.” Fair Fight Action did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Georgia Voters By The Numbers

  • 313,243: the number of voter registrations that will be purged in December

  • 6,732,783: the number of active registered voters in Georgia, according to state statistics

  • 352,000: the number of people who signed up to vote in Georgia, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported

  • 47 percent: the percentage of new voters who identified their race who are minorities

  • 534,119: the number of voter registrations Georgia purged in July 2017

  • 55,000: the number of votes that gave Republican Brian Kemp the victory over Democrat Stacey Abrams in last year’s race for governor

What Can Be Done About This

  • Georgia voters who find themselves on the purge list have several options to move to active status. One option voters have is voting during Tuesday’s (November 5) municipal elections. They can also return a postage-paid form received in the mail, change their address online, or re-register to vote online.

  • Georgians with questions about voting can reach out to the voter protection hotline at 1-888-730-5816.

  • To join Fair Fight Action click here or donate to the cause here. Other organizations worth considering are The New Georgia Project and All Voting Is Local.

  • The New Georgia Project, along with Daily Kos Liberation League, is sponsoring a petition demanding Georgia officials protect Georgian’s right to vote. You can sign the petition here.

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About the Author

Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various publications, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia, Australia and the Americas.