DeKalb elections: What the data shows about December’s voter removals

DeKalb County voters line up for early voting at the Voter Registration and Elections office in 2016. KENT D. JOHNSON / AJC

DeKalb County voters line up for early voting at the Voter Registration and Elections office in 2016. KENT D. JOHNSON / AJC

About 4.5% of DeKalb County voters were removed from voter rolls in December, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of state data on voter removals from the county’s voting polls.

The four counties with the most voters also had the most voters removed last month: Gwinnett County had 19,910 voters taken off, Cobb County had 20,075, DeKalb had 25,905 and Fulton had 41,821.

The percentage of registered voters removed from each county’s rolls, between 3.3% and 5%, was similar in Atlanta’s core counties. Combined, about 107,000 voters were removed in the four-county area. Voters were removed at a higher rate in the metro area, 4.2%, than statewide, 3.9%.

In all, 287,000 voters' registrations were removed from the state’s voter rolls. The state cancels voter registrations for three reasons: if 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.

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

READ| Legislators asked to change Georgia voter purge law

In DeKalb, about 42% of those removed from the rolls were black, 40% were white, 2% Hispanic, 2% Asian, the data shows. About 13% of those removed were of an unknown race.

In October, before removals occurred, the county electorate was 50% black, 32% white, 2% Hispanic, 3% Asian, 10% unknown.

Voters in younger age ranges were affected more often. The baby boomer generation, ages 55 to 73 last year, represent 25% of the electorate and were 22% of voters removed in DeKalb. Generation X voters, ages 39 to 54 last year, were hit hardest; that age range comprised 27% of voters and 34% of those removed. Millennials, ages 23 to 38 last year, were 35% of registered voters in October and 36% of those removed.

The data from the Secretary of State’s office also included the reason for voters being declared “inactive.”

About half of the voter removals in DeKalb were due to people filing a change of address forms, suggesting they moved. Another 32% were removed who had not voted since before the 2012 presidential election and had no contact with state or local elections officials. About 17% were put on the inactive list because election mail was returned as undeliverable — the highest number for any of the four metro Atlanta counties.

In January, there were 523,283 registered voters in DeKalb County, elections officials said.

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


Voters can check online to see if their registration is active and their information current at 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 You must have your Georgia driver's license number or state identification card number.

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