Cobb elections: What the data shows about December’s voter cancellations

July 24, 2018 - Atlanta, Ga: A voter walks away from the voting booths during the Georgia runoff election voting at Henry W. Grady High School Tuesday, July 24, 2018, in Atlanta. Voters across Georgia are deciding some of the most important races in the state in Tuesday's runoffs, including runoffs for governor, congress and other elected offices. (JASON GETZ/SPECIAL TO THE AJC)
Caption
July 24, 2018 - Atlanta, Ga: A voter walks away from the voting booths during the Georgia runoff election voting at Henry W. Grady High School Tuesday, July 24, 2018, in Atlanta. Voters across Georgia are deciding some of the most important races in the state in Tuesday's runoffs, including runoffs for governor, congress and other elected offices. (JASON GETZ/SPECIAL TO THE AJC)

Credit: Jason Getz

Credit: Jason Getz

Cobb County lost 3.6% of its voters as part of a statewide effort to clean up voter rolls, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of new state data.

The percentage of registered voters removed from each county’s rolls, between 3.3% and 5%, was similar in Atlanta’s core counties. Voters were removed at a higher rate in the metro area, 4.2%, than statewide, 3.9%.

The four Georgia counties with the most voters had the most voters removed: Gwinnett County had 19,910 voters removed from county rolls, Cobb County had 20,075, DeKalb had 25,905 and Fulton had 41,821.

Combined, about 107,000 voters were canceled in the four-county area. Statewide, about 287,000 voters' registrations were removed in December.


READ| Why Georgia secretary of state’s office removes inactive voters

READ| Legislators asked to change Georgia voter purge law


State election officials have said voter registration lists need to be regularly maintained to remove voters who have moved or died. The state cancels voter registrations for three reasons: a person hasn’t voted in several years, they’ve filed change-of-address forms, or mail sent to them by election officials was returned as undeliverable.

In Cobb, 63% were removed after filing a national change of address form to indicate they were moving. An additional 32% were taken off the list because they haven’t voted or had any contact with the county elections board or secretary of state’s office for a number of years. And 4% were purged after they were sent mail at their address on file, but it was returned as undeliverable.

Countywide, 55% of those removed from voter rolls identified as white, 26% black, 3% Hispanic, 2% Asian. About 11% of those removed were of an “unknown” race.

Using data from October, the Cobb electorate was 55% white, 26% black, 5% Hispanic and 3% Asian. About 8% of Cobb voters had an unknown race.

Voters in younger age ranges were removed from polls at a higher rate than older voters. Boomers represent 26% of the electorate and were 26% of voters removed in Cobb. Generation X voters were hit hardest; that age range comprised 28% of voters and 33% of those removed. Gen X voters were ages 39-54 in 2019. Millennials were 31% of registered voters in October and 35% of those removed. Millennials were 23-38 last year.

In January, the Cobb County’s elections office reported having 528,880 registered voters still on the rolls.

AJC Newsroom Data Specialists Jennifer Peebles and Nick Thieme contributed to this story. 


ARE YOU REGISTERED? 

Voters can check online to see if their registration is active and their information current at https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do. Enter your first initial, last name, county of residence and birthdate to access your voter page. There, you can change your voter information, get an absentee ballot application and find directions to your polling place.

If you are not registered, you can do so at https://registertovote.sos.ga.gov/. You must have your Georgia driver's license number or state identification card number.