Jul 20, 2023 - Politics

Secretary of State set to trim Georgia voter rolls ahead of 2024

A photo taken from above of a poll worker's hand laying out "I voted" stickers given to Georgia voters

Photo: Dustin Chambers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger plans to strike nearly 192,000 names from the state's voter rolls as a part of "routine and legally required" list maintenance ahead of the 2024 election.

  • So far this year Raffensperger has canceled 75,676 records because the voter died or moved out of Georgia, his office said in a release.

Why it matters: Georgia's swing state status puts officials and voting rights advocates on high alert regarding any change to the voter rolls, and the state's list maintenance process has been a flashpoint for years.

Catch up quick: Per Georgia law, people who don't vote in two consecutive general elections and don't update their registration status are assigned "inactive" status.

  • That’s like a warning. After that they have two more general elections to vote and regain their active status. If they don’t, the secretary of state sends a letter, which voters have 30 days to respond to before removal.

The other side: Progressive activists like the New Georgia Project Action Fund called the voter roll cleanup a "purge" and "voter suppression."

  • "Voting is a right," said Kendra Cotton, the group's CEO. "If someone chooses not to use it, that doesn’t mean they lose it."

Flashback: In December 2020, one month before the U.S. Senate runoff elections that ultimately sent Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to the U.S. Senate, voter advocacy groups sued Raffensperger for allegedly improperly removing nearly 200,000 registered voters from the rolls.

  • A judge found that while the process led to some mistakes, the removals were not discriminatory, the AJC reported.

Former Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp came under scrutiny for removing hundreds of thousands of voters from the rolls in 2017.

  • In 2019 as governor, he signed a law to give voters more time before they're actually canceled from the rolls — nine years instead of seven.

Be smart: Check your voter registration status on the state's My Voter Page.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify how many election cycles must pass before a voter is eligible for removal.


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