Elections offices across Georgia have seen a dramatic increase in the number of voter registration applications in recent months. A change with the state’s Department of Driver Services has spurred about 464,000 more applications this year compared to the most recent nonpresidential election year. And that means elections employees are spending more time sorting through them, including weeding out duplicates of people who are already registered. Statewide, there have been 559,179 voter registration applications through the Department of Driver Services since Jan. 1. During the same period in 2015, there were 95,102 voter registration applications from the Department of Driver Services, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.
DDS has switched from an “opt-in” to an “opt-out” policy on how it processes voter registrations when people use certain services.
The change, which went into effect in the fall of 2016, was coordinated with the state Attorney General’s Office and the Secretary of State’s Office. It ensures compliance with the National Voter Registration Act, DDS said in a statement.