Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp purged 107,000 voters in a single day in 2017 under the state’s use it or lose it law.
An AMP Report analysis found:
Even by Georgia standards, the voter purge of late July 2017 was remarkable. In a single day, more than half a million people — 8 percent of Georgia’s registered voters — were cut from the voter rolls. Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, an avid supporter of President Donald Trump who has described himself as a “politically incorrect conservative,” oversaw the removals eight months after he’d declared himself a candidate for governor.
The purge was noteworthy for another reason: For an estimated 107,000 of those people, their removal from the voter rolls was triggered not because they moved or died or went to prison, but rather because they had decided not to vote in prior elections, according to an APM Reports analysis. Many of those previously registered voters may not even realize they’ve been dropped from the rolls. If they show up at the polls on Nov. 6 to vote in the heated Georgia governor’s race, they won’t be allowed to cast a ballot.
Nine mostly Republican states have use it or lose it laws. In Georgia, if you go three years without voting, a voter is removed from the rolls. These voters aren’t removed because they moved, died, or lost their right to vote by committing a crime. Voters are not allowed to vote because they haven’t voted recently.
The three-year provision is intentional and vital. Democratic voters have traditionally had much lower turnout in midterm and off off year elections. A use it or lose it law is a great tool for suppressing the vote of Democrats who only vote in presidential elections. Even though use it or lose it laws are legal, they seem un-American. Americans should have the freedom to decide which elections they want to vote in.
The efforts to suppress the vote in Georgia go even deeper and are worse than already reported. If Democrats can win in Georgia, it will be the most significant victory of the midterm election. Everything is stacked against Democrats in Georgia, so if they prevail, it will be a victory for democracy and voting rights everywhere.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association