George Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) announced on Thursday that the state is taking steps to update its voter rolls, contacting more than 185,000 voters who have not interacted with the election system for at least five years to see if they are still active.
Raffensperger said he ordered Georgia election officials to mail no-contact notices to 185,666 people who have not had any contact with the election system in the previous five calendar years.
The secretary said no contact means the voters have not voted, requested an absentee ballot, signed a petition or updated their registration by changing their address or renewing their driver’s license.
Additionally, none of those people voted in the 2020 general election or runoff races.
If those individuals do not respond within 30 days, their registrations will be marked as “inactive.” That status, however, will not prevent voters from casting a ballot as they normally would, according to Raffensperger's office, because they will not realize that their registration has been marked inactive.
Voters that remain on the inactive list for two additional election cycles will be mailed another notice asking for confirmation on their registration. If they do not respond to that notice, their registrations will be canceled, according to the secretary’s office.
Raffensperger’s office said the move is to “safeguard election integrity.”
“Accurate voter lists are fundamental to election integrity,” Raffensperger said in a statement. “They ensure ineligible people cannot vote, allow counties to effectively allocate resources so there are no long lines, and help make sure voters get accurate information about casting their ballot.”
The office noted that the effort is in line with federal legislation signed by then-President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonHas China already won? Budget impasses mark a critical turning point in Biden's presidency Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE in 1993 that requires states to conduct regular maintenance of voter rolls.
The preliminary move in Georgia comes after the Wisconsin Elections Commission announced on Wednesday that voter registrations for more than 205,000 residents were deactivated after a routine inspection of voter rolls to keep them up to date.
Deactivating voter registrations in Wisconsin is a routine practice that is required by law to occur every two years.
The topic of voters being purged from election rolls was also a highly watched issue in Indiana. A federal appeals court last month ruled with opponents of a state law that sought to allow elections officials to immediately purge voter registrations for people who appeared to enroll in another state, The Associated Press reported.
The court said the law breached the National Voter Registration Act because it would allow county election officials to deactivate voter registrations without consent from the individual or make such a move before two federal elections to pass where the voter was inactive.
In Ohio, the state was set to purge 235,000 voter registrations from its rolls in 2019 before realizing that roughly 20 percent, or about 40,000 people, were wrongly included on the list, according to The New York Times.