Georgia election officials are mailing letters this week to over 185,000 registered voters who haven’t participated in elections for at least five years, a step toward eventually canceling their registrations under the state’s “use it or lose it” law.
Many of them likely moved out of state and are no longer eligible to cast a ballot in Georgia, according to Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office. But the notifications also cover an unknown number of residents who haven’t moved and decided not to vote in recent elections.
The notifications are being mailed as Georgia election officials are preparing to cancel the voter registrations of an additional 102,000 people who filed change-of-address requests with the U.S. Postal Service, had election mail returned as undeliverable or haven’t voted since 2012.
“Accurate voter lists are fundamental to election integrity,” Raffensperger said Thursday. “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.”
Georgians who receive notification letters this month will be classified as “inactive” voters if they don’t respond within 30 days. The notifications can be returned without having to pay postage.
Georgia is one of at least nine states with a “use it or use it” law that enables election officials to factor voters’ failure to cast a ballot into the process of canceling their registrations, according to a review of laws compiled by the National Association of Secretaries of State.
Registered voters become inactive in Georgia if they have no contact with election officials for five years, meaning they didn’t cast a ballot, request an absentee ballot, sign a petition or update their registration by changing their addresses or renewing their driver’s licenses.
Voters can check their registration status online on the state’s My Voter Page at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov.