A coming purge of Georgia’s voter rolls has raised alarms among advocacy groups in the state and nationwide, many of whom see the issue of who gets to cast a ballot re-emerging with next year’s election, particularly in battleground states.
This week, Georgia state officials said they would be removing about 300,000 names from their lists of eligible voters, a number that amounts to almost 4 percent of those registered to vote. The state said the move is a normal part of updating records after voters have moved away or stopped casting ballots.
Walter Jones, the spokesman for the Georgia secretary of state’s voter education program, called the purge “a routine process that every state does,” and one that has gone on for years in Georgia under both parties.
The purges, however, have become deeply controversial in Georgia. In 2018, in one of the most competitive governor’s races in years, Brian Kemp, a Republican, declared a narrow victory against his democratic rival, Stacey Abrams. Since Mr. Kemp was then serving as Georgia secretary of state, he oversaw his own election, which critics accused him of manipulating by conducting purges in communities that were more likely to vote for Democrats. He beat Ms. Abrams by 1.4 percentage points.