Georgia officials purged an estimated 107,000 registered voters from voter rolls because they decided not to vote in prior elections, an APM Reports investigation shows.
According to APM’s analysis, voters who failed to vote, respond to a notice or make contact with election officials over a three-year period were removed from the rolls under the state’s “use it or lose it” law.
Those who failed to vote or make contact with authorities in two elections within that three-year span can then be purged from the voter rolls under the Georgia law. Many of those previously registered voters “may not even realize they’ve been dropped from the rolls. If they show up at the polls on Nov. 6 to vote in the heated Georgia governor’s race, they won’t be allowed to cast a ballot.”
APM notes that such laws, generally enacted by Republican-controlled states, have been growing more common, with at least nine states now having them. No state has been more aggressive with this approach than Georgia, where Republican Brian Kemp, the secretary of state, oversaw the purging of a growing number of voters ahead of his own run for governor, according to APM’s investigation.
Kemp is currently running against Democrat Stacy Abrams who would become the first black woman to serve as a U.S. governor in history if elected.
Abrams has argued that Georgia laws and Kemp’s office have acted to suppress the votes of African-Americans in the state under the guise of “voter fraud” prevention.
The two are locked in a neck-and-neck race that could be decided by a razor-thin margin of votes.