Something continues to stink in Georgia as election day slowly creeps up on us, as apparently some 107,000 have apparently lost their right to vote simply for not voting in past elections.
An APM Reports analysis stated that many of the 107,000 who were cut from voter rolls may not even realize that they are no longer eligible to vote in the highly contested Nov. 6 midterm elections in Georgia, where most eyes are on the heated gubernatorial race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican (and current Secretary of State) Brian Kemp.
The cuts apparently occurred sometime late July 2017, where more than half a million people were purged from the voter rolls. Kemp, whose office oversees elections in a practice that is totally not shady at all, oversaw the removals eight months after he cast his bid for governor, according to the report.
To be fair, these voter roll purges aren’t exactly new. Voters are often removed from lists if they happen to have moved, died or gone to prison. Federal law requires that states cut ineligible citizens from voter rolls.
However, in states like Georgia, there is a “use it or lose it” policy that basically insists that citizens vote, otherwise the otherwise perfectly eligible voters will lose that right.
Election officials say that they’re trying to keep voter registration lists accurate and prevent voter fraud. They consider it safe to assume that people who don’t vote in multiple elections, or return confirmation notices, have moved.
“We’re following the process,” Kemp said in a recent interview with public radio station WABE in Atlanta, arguing his office had not only complied with state and federal law but was registering more voters than ever. “I’m very proud of my record on making sure we have secure, accessible and fair elections.”
But, as the report notes, this recent cull is triggering fears of voter suppression tactics, especially since Kemp has been accused of sitting on over 53,000 voter registrations. The issue with those registrations?
According to Kemp’s office, the registrations sitting in his office failed to meet Georgia’s “exact match” registration verification process, where a detail as innocuous as a missing hyphen in a name can trigger the stalling of a voter’s registration.
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