PoliticsMidterm Elections


107,000 Georgia Voters Purged Because They Didn't Vote

The "use it or lose it" process kicks in when voters' inaction triggers it.
Posted at 6:28 PM, Oct 19, 2018

Around 100,000 people have been removed from Georgia voter rolls because they didn't vote in previous elections, according to an APM Reports investigation published Friday.

Georgia had cut more than half a million people, or 8 percent of registered voters, last July from voter rolls. Voters are commonly purged when certain things happen, like moving out of state, or dying, for example. But in this case, an estimated 107,000 of them lost their right to vote because of Georgia's "use it or lose it" law.

Here's how that Georgia law works. In a three-year span, if someone doesn't vote or respond to notices sent by election officials, that "use it or lose it" process kicks in and flags them. If they don't show up in the next two federal election cycles, they'll lose their right to vote. 

Georgia's Secretary of State Brian Kemp, whose office is in charge of elections, says the policy is used to maintain accurate voter registration lists and to prevent voter fraud. Kemp is running for governor in this election.

Georgia isn't the only state to have "use it or lose it," though. Per APM Reports, at least eight other states have similar policies, including Ohio and Oregon.