Shanteya Hudson, Public News Service
A recent report by Dēmos, a nonpartisan public policy organization, uncovered disturbing findings regarding the impact of voter registration purges in 10 states, including Georgia.
The study revealed Georgia’s voter policy has led to the removal of hundreds of thousands of voters from the registration rolls, raising concerns about their access to voting rights.
Angela Hanks, chief of programs for Dēmos, emphasized the lack of transparency and accountability in the purge process, leaving individuals unaware of their removal until Election Day.
“Some of the policies that lead to that include allowing mass challenges to voter eligibility,” Hanks pointed out. “Georgia is an example of this. There was a really harmful law that was passed in 2021, that allows unlimited and abusive challenges.”
Proponents argued voter purge policies help maintain the accuracy and integrity of voter rolls. They believe periodically removing ineligible or outdated voter registrations helps prevent fraud. Critics of voter purge laws countered processes are not always clear and provided an inadequate notice to correct mistakes. The report found between the 2020 and 2022 general elections, states removed more than 19 million records from voter registration rolls.
Hanks argued such policies undermine the essence of a fair and representative electorate, ultimately weakening the democratic foundation. She also noted the policies often disproportionately affect already marginalized communities and stressed the need for state and federal action to put safeguards in place.
“The best safeguard is being able to show up on Election Day,” Hanks contended. “If you find out at that point that you’re unable to cast your ballot, being able to register on the spot, be able to cast a ballot, that’s not a provisional ballot.”
Hank encouraged Congress to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, which was introduced in the last session and nearly passed. It has been reintroduced.
This article originally appeared in Public News Service and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.