Nearly 95% of Georgia citizens over 18 years old registered to vote, according to recently released federal election data, clinching a key victory for voting rights activists who hoped to increase turnout in the increasingly competitive state.
At the time of the 2020 election, there were roughly 7.2 million active people registered in Georgia, leaving approximately 387,000 people in the eligible voting population unregistered, according to the Election Assistance Commission's biennial report, which was released on Monday. The registered voter total marks a huge jump from 2016, when only 76% of eligible voters in the state were registered, and only eight states had higher rates than Georgia, according to federal data.
Many attributed the high voter registration rate to failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and her work through Fair Fight Action, which aims to "promote fair elections around the country, encourage voter participation in elections, and educate voters about elections and their voting rights."
"Now we just need 49 clones of Stacey Abrams," political commentator John Fugelsang wrote Friday, retweeting an article about the EAC's report.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, also gave a shoutout to Abrams "and all the black women organizers on the ground in GA" in light of the new figures.
Still, the data from the EAC might be slightly outdated, as the commission relied on census estimates from 2019 rather than the updated figures from the 2020 census, which revealed that Georgia had a large population boom over the large decade spurred on by the growth of minority groups.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced in June that the state was prepared to remove more than 100,000 "outdated" names from the state's voter registration rolls, saying, "Making sure Georgia's voter rolls are up to date is key to ensuring the integrity of our elections."
Raffensperger's office also removed 18,486 voter files of dead people based on information obtained from Georgia’s Office of Vital Records and the Electronic Registration Information Center.
Republicans in the state saw the legislation as necessary to improve voter confidence and to restore security in elections despite former President Donald Trump's Justice Department claiming that the 2020 election was the most secure in United States history.
The state's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp also passed an election integrity law earlier this year that was met with contempt by many Democratic leaders in the nation, and President Joe Biden decried the move as a "21st-century Jim Crow assault” on democracy, calling on Congress to pass a bill that would give the federal government control over election-related issues that go well beyond the ballot box.
Last November, Biden carried Georgia by roughly 12,000 votes, a historic victory propelled in part by high voter turnout among minority voters. The vote was affirmed in multiple recounts over objections from the Trump campaign, which claimed there was widespread voter fraud despite officials' reassurances about the security of the election.
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Original Author: Kaelan Deese
Original Location: About 95% of eligible Georgia population registered to vote: Federal report