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

02/25/2019 — Lawrenceville, Georgia — A Gwinnett County resident
					participates in a special voting during early voting at the
					Gwinnett County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections building
					in Lawrenceville, Monday, February 25, 2019. The special ballot
					asks Gwinnett County residence to approve or disapprove a contract
					for provisions to expand public transportation to the county.
					(ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
02/25/2019 — Lawrenceville, Georgia — A Gwinnett County resident participates in a special voting during early voting at the Gwinnett County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections building in Lawrenceville, Monday, February 25, 2019. The special ballot asks Gwinnett County residence to approve or disapprove a contract for provisions to expand public transportation to the county. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Nearly 20,000 people were removed from Gwinnett County voter rolls in December, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of new state data.

More than 287,000 people across Georgia had their voter registrations canceled in an annual effort by the secretary of state’s office to update the state voter rolls — 19,910 were from Gwinnett.


The four counties with the most voters removed were also the state’s four most populous: Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb and Cobb. Cobb had 20,075 voters removed from the rolls, DeKalb 25,905 and Fulton 41,821. Combined, about 107,000 voters were removed in the area.

Gwinnett had the lowest rate of cancellations at 3.3% of voters registered in the county. 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%.

Gwinnett County’s elections office sent notifications in late 2019 to the voters whose registration was about to be canceled. Gwinnett was the only county who had to handle its own cancellation mailings because it is federally required to provide all elections materials in both English and Spanish, due to a large Spanish-speaking population. About 2,000 from Gwinnett were able to contact the state and prevent their registrations from being canceled.


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In Gwinnett, 46% of canceled voters were white, a proportion higher than the 41% the group makes up of the electorate. Black voters made up 26% of the voting base, 27% were removed, according to state data. Hispanic voters made up 8% of the electorate, but make up 5% of those removed from rolls. Asian percentages mirrored those of Hispanic voters. About 12% of Gwinnett’s registered voters were of an “unknown” race; a group that comprised 16% of those removed.

Older voters were removed less often. In Gwinnett, 26% of voters were baby boomers and made up 26% of those removed. Generation X comprised 29% of voters and were 33% of those removed. Millennials, the largest group, was 29% of registered voters and 33% of those removed.

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.

About 58% removals in Gwinnett were due to people filing a change of address forms, suggesting they moved. Another 40% were removed who had not voted since before the 2012 presidential election and had no contact with state or local elections officials. Another 2% were put on the inactive list because election mail was returned as undeliverable.

In January, 582,733 Gwinnett voters remained on the rolls, elections officials said.

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.


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