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Mass Voter Challenges and Voter List Maintenance in Georgia

The Brennan Center is fighting back against attempts to challenge the eligibility of, and effectively purge, tens of thousands of Georgia voters from the rolls. A recent change to state law allowing for unlimited challenges has encouraged widespread and often frivolous challenges. We are also working to prevent other attempts to abuse routine voter list maintenance processes that may remove eligible voters and spread disinformation.

Last Updated: June 18, 2024
Published: December 21, 2020

JUNE 2024

On May 6, 2024, Georgia enacted a law that makes it easier for Georgians to challenge their neighbors’ eligibility to vote based on unreliable data. This new law increases the chances that eligible voters will have their registrations canceled and could lead to a swarm of mass challenges that waste countless hours and resources for election officials.

On June 12, 2024, the Brennan Center joined a coalition in sending a letter to guide county boards on how to handle challenges under the new law. The guidance reminds the boards of federal limitations on voter purges and some of the protections still required by Georgia law.



The Brennan Center, along with several allied organizations, sent a letter to the Board of Elections of Columbia County, Georgia, regarding the Board’s reported interest in contracting with EagleAI NETwork. EagleAI is a database that takes publicly available voter information and performs simple list matching. Its backers claim the system allows users to identify voters who should be removed from the rolls but, as we explained in a September 2023 analysis, the system is deeply flawed. It relies on unreliable information and encourages amateurs to play detective and submit mass challenges, with already overworked elections officials tasked with doing all the heavy lifting the activists fail to do.

Our letter urges the Columbia County Board not to contract with EagleAI, both because of the above-mentioned problems and because the government’s use of it could create legal challenges.



The Brennan Center and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta, along with a coalition of Georgia voting rights groups, sent a letter to the State Election Board and to the State Elections Director urging them to produce guidance on how counties should handle voter challenges before the upcoming election. In the past cycle, competing interpretations of state law resulted in inconsistent approaches to mass challenges across county election boards. To prevent this same uncertainty, counties need to navigate the law with more clarity and efficiency. We asked the letter recipients to issue rules on how voter challenges should be handled from start to finish before the upcoming cycle’s administrative burdens become too intense.


FALL 2022

Groups and individuals in at least 8 counties have challenged about 65,000 voter registrations. In one alarming instance, VoterGA brought a challenge to 37,500 voters in Gwinnett County. VoterGA, which has alleged fraud in the 2020 election and argued against the use of electronic voting machines, is reportedly preparing additional mass challenges in other counties.

Elsewhere, challengers brought a mass challenge in Fulton County in October 2021 and a challenge to 1,113 voters in DeKalb County in August 2022; both boards rejected them. As of July 29 of this year, at least 1,800 voters have been removed from the rolls as a result of challenges in Chatham, Cobb, DeKalb, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett and Spalding counties.

These mass challenges are based on unreliable, unverifiable, and incomplete information and they risk disenfranchising eligible Georgia voters. In September 2022, the Bren­nan Center advised all 159 Geor­gia counties that these chal­lenges—if permit­ted to go forward—­would likely viol­ate state and federal law and urged them to reject these and similar mass challenges.

In October 2022, the Brennan Center and All Voting Is Local Georgia sent a second letter to the counties. This letter stresses the legal obligations counties have to registered voters and explains best practices for dealing with challenges received in the final weeks and days before the November 2022 election. It emphasizes the administrability issues of investigating challenges to thousands of voters and urges the boards to both use their authority to reject unsupported challenges and to take proactive measures to ensure a smooth election.


December 2020

True the Vote, an anti-voter activ­ist group, and others coordin­ated chal­lenges to over 364,000 voters in all of Geor­gi­a’s 159 counties, on the basis of unre­li­able, unveri­fi­able, and incom­plete inform­a­tion. These mass chal­lenges consti­tuted a blatant attempt to disen­fran­chise Geor­gia voters by seek­ing construct­ive voter roll purges while early voting for the Janu­ary senate runoffs was already under­way.

The Bren­nan Center advised all 159 Geor­gia counties that these chal­lenges would likely have viol­ated state and federal law. We urged them to reject such efforts and most counties did so.