AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — The Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffesenperger, is trying to get the voter lists up to date. They say the process is being done to ensure fair elections.
Starting this week, more than 330,000 registrations may be canceled. The purge comes after Georgia canceled more than 543,000 registrations in July 2017.
“Many people don’t realize about 13 percent of Georgians move every year,” explained Raffesenperger. “So, if you don’t update your voter rules, it gets out of date very quickly.”
Georgia will be mailing purge notices to more than 330,000 voters. The purge is in place for those who have not voted in the last five years.
“If you get that notice, you need to respond to it,” said the executive director for the Richmond County Board of Elections, Lynn Bailey. “Because if you get to the voting polls on election day and you are canceled during this any other process, then you’re canceled.”
Here in the Garden City, Richmond County has more than 5,800 people on the purge list. Columbia County is right behind them, sitting around 5,300 voters. That’s about 11,000 people about to go off the books.
“My first thought was, okay here we go again, let’s do this again,” said the Chairman for the Richmond County Democratic Party, Jordan Johnson. “But making sure Augusta isn’t left behind. Making sure if you’re registered and that you want to vote, you have access to do so.”
Johnson told NewsChannel 6 reporter, Devin Johnson, people moving is not the main reason why there are so many inactive voters.
“You have a lot of elderly people on the list as well,” explained Johnson. “People who have accessibility issues, folks that can’t get out of their homes, people who may not have an absentee ballot. That goes into folks not voting in cycles.”
And even though the purge is taking place, there is still time to get your registration up-to-date and ready for the 2020 election.
“Check your status on your registration,” said Bailey. “Make sure we have you at the correct address, make sure we have the spelling of your name correct. All these things bode well for you to have a smooth experience.”
Bailey adds, you have 40 days to respond to the notice. Click here if you want to be sure you are registered for the next election.
Photojournalist: Will Baker