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Mass Voter Challenges in Georgia

The Brennan Center is fighting back against an attempt 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.

Last Updated: October 28, 2022
Published: December 21, 2020

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.

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JANUARY 2021

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.

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