Georgia voters who could be among the thousands expected to be purged from the election rolls next month can proactively check their status on a new website announced Tuesday by the voting rights organization launched by Stacey Abrams after her 2018 gubernatorial bid.
Fair Fight Action’s GeorgiaVoterSearch.com lets voters verify whether they are on the list of the more than 100,000 voters whose registration could be canceled because they have moved or haven’t voted in several years. The state requires them to act to keep themselves on the rolls. The site is part of the organization’s effort to go on offense in the wake of the state’s new restrictive voting measures passed during the most recent legislative session.
Senate Bill 202 makes absentee ballot drop boxes less available, reduces the early voting period ahead of runoff elections, bans handing out food or water to voters standing in long lines at the polls, removes the secretary of state from the Georgia board of elections and allows state election officials to replace county officials whose performance they deem unfit.
On Friday, the Department of Justice announced it is challenging Georgia’s new voting laws under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, arguing that the bill intentionally targets Black voters and seeks to restrict their access to the polls in direct response to their record turnout in 2020. After the election, former President Donald Trump attempted to overturn the election results in Georgia, calling on state election officials to intervene.
Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger declined, declaring the state’s election results accurate after multiple recounts. Still, they signed the legislation in March under the false claim of a threat to election integrity.
Abrams and her organization have been among the highest profile Democrats to push back against voter suppression efforts in Georgia and across the country. Fair Fight Action will attempt to reach 50,000 voters through a text and phone bank campaign later this summer, alerting voters of the coming purge and educating previously purged voters about how they can re-register. State officials say they will notify voters on the list in July and August and those voters will have 40 days to correct the situation if they want to remain on the rolls.
The Georgia website is the only such online effort planned by Fair Fight Action at this time, but organization officials say they will also amplify state partners’ efforts to help voters stay on the rolls.
Ahead of Abrams’ unsuccessful campaign for governor, 534,000 Georgians were purged from the rolls in 2017, the largest removal of registrations ever. In 2019, Fair Fight Action sued after the state attempted to remove 287,000 voters ahead of the November election and held a phone and text bank after the 2020 Democratic presidential primary debate in Atlanta to notify voters that their names might have been on the list.
Fair Fight Action and other Democrats, including Texas lawmakers who recently thwarted state Republicans’ attempt to pass similar restrictive voting measures, are calling on federal lawmakers to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act as a firewall to bills advancing or under consideration in dozens of states.
Earlier this month, Senate Democrats failed to advance debate on the For the People Act in a vote split 50-50 along partisan lines. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is expected to be introduced in the Senate later this summer, but also faces an uphill battle.