WASHINGTON, D.C.—Every two years, Georgia officials undertake mass voter purges as part of the Republican legislature’s efforts to disenfranchise voters in the name of election security and administration. The 2021 purging process will begin this week, according to a new report, and state officials expect to remove over 113,000 voters from the rolls. For the first time ever, Georgia will use out-of-state databases such as Social Security to identify voters they think might be inactive or ineligible and cancel their registration. One such database is the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), in which 30 states are enrolled. The states pool their voter registration information so the ERIC can inform election officials when a voter moves states or gets a new license.
Along with voters who have moved or died, the purge targets “inactive” voters who have failed to vote in recent elections but are still eligible. Voting rights activists argue this cancels the valid registrations of voters who simply chose not to vote in recent elections. Thankfully, Georgia saw record voter turnout last election, meaning that the number of inactive voters is at a low; this year 113,000 registrations could be cancelled, compared to 534,000 in 2017.