The state of Georgia quietly announced Friday that it would end the practice of sending notices giving voters 30 days to update their address or be purged from voter rolls.
Under a “voter list maintenance” policy, the state has already gotten rid of tens of thousands of voters—even those who moved within the county in which they are registered. It is for these voters that the state’s reversal applies.
"Many voters in the 10th District have been receiving threatening and disenfranchising purge letters from the state of Georgia,” said Chalis Montgomery, a Democrat running against incumbent Rep. Jody Hice. “Thanks to the concerted effort of Georgia voter protection advocates and voting rights organizations, including the ACLU of Georgia, our state government is reversing course, and stopping an effort that will reduce voter participation among eligible Georgia voters.”
Between 2014 and 2016, Georgia sent out registration confirmation notices to 1 million voters, according to a recent report from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Only about 6 percent of those notices were accepted as returned by voters. The state removed 732, 800 people (12 percent of registered voters) from the rolls over the same time period.
State officials confirmed Friday that Georgia will immediately recognize as active nearly half of the 383,487 voters who received the notices in July as part of the state’s effort to “clean up” its voting rolls, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“This is a good step, but we have much more work to do to ensure eligible voters are able to freely and fairly exercise their voting rights,” Montgomery said. “As your representative in Congress, I will support a full restoration of the Voting Rights Act and support other measures to encourage and protect voting—a cornerstone of our democracy."