Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

The Jolt: When 107,000 Georgia voters were culled – for not voting


Over at WABE (90.1FM), Johnny Kaufman is part of a national group effort looking at “use it or lose it” voter registration policies in several states, including Georgia.

On a single July weekend in 2017, Kaufman’s team reports, more than half a million people – 8 percent of the state’s registered voters -- were cut from Georgia’s roster:

The purge was noteworthy for another reason: For an estimated 107,000 of those people, their removal from the voter rolls was triggered not because they moved or died or went to prison, but rather because they had decided not to vote in prior elections, according to an APM Reports analysis. Many of those previously registered voters may not even realize they've been dropped from the rolls. If they show up at the polls on Nov. 6 to vote in the heated Georgia governor's race, they won't be allowed to cast a ballot.

From Secretary of State Brian Kemp, now the Republican candidate for governor:

"We're following the process," Kemp said in a recent interview with public radio station WABE in Atlanta, arguing his office had not only complied with state and federal law but was registering more voters than ever. "I'm very proud of my record on making sure we have secure, accessible and fair elections."

***

The price tag being placed on the damage done to Georgia agriculture by Hurricane Michael keep climbing. An initial estimate of $1 billion has been swamped, according to our AJC colleague Jennifer Brett. That figure now covers only timber losses.

Pecans, cotton and other losses are pushing the total to $3 billion.

***

The latest sign of Georgia’s increasing influence on the 2020 stage arrived in our inbox this morning: U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey will be the next in a long line of potential Democratic presidential hopefuls visiting Georgia to stump for gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

On Sunday, Booker will join her for a discussion about issues that affect black men and a visit to an Atlanta barber shop. A growing list of big-name Democrats have appeared with Abrams -- also seeding the ground for their bids.

So have a few Republicans potentially eyeing 2024, namely Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Marco Rubio of Florida. The latter will boost Republican candidate for governor Brian Kemp in Cobb County on Monday.

***

Here's something not seen in a generation: We’re looking at a flyer that Power PAC, a group associated with the Democratic gubernatorial campaign of Stacey Abrams, is sending to households in Cobb County with GOP voting histories. One headline: “Brian Kemp wants to take away women’s freedom to control our own bodies.”

We were trying to come up with the last time anyone in Georgia tried to rally Republican women around the topic of abortion rights. It was probably 1996, when a pro-choice Johnny Isakson lost a GOP primary bid for the U.S. Senate to an anti-abortion Guy Millner.

This was for the seat being vacated by Sam Nunn. Democrat Max Cleland beat Millner in the general election.

***

We haven’t seen it yet, but Democrats are sending urgent warnings to their supporters of a coming $500,000 ad buy from the National Rifle Association in the race for governor. The gun rights group recently endorsed Republican Brian Kemp -- after much drama earlier this year -- and it appears to have alarmed Stacey Abrams’ camp. Her campaign sent two separate fundraising pleas asking her supporters for donations to signal “you will never let the NRA buy this election.” 

***

Down-ticket Republicans are trying to leverage Stacey Abrams’ gaffe about farmers to score more points with rural voters. Brad Raffensperger, the GOP nominee for secretary of state, called on his opponent John Barrow to disavow Abrams’ “elitist” comments.

At an event in Statesboro, Abrams said “people shouldn’t have to go into agriculture or hospitality in order to make a living in Georgia.” Abrams later said she meant to emphasize the need for the state to continue to diversify the economy and raise wages. 

***

Never miss a minute of what’s happening in Georgia Politics. Subscribe to PoliticallyGeorgia.com


Reader Comments ...