After facing a legal backlash over sending address confirmation notices to tens of thousands of voters who had moved within the county they had already registered in, Georgia has quietly decided to reverse course. State officials confirmed Friday to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Georgia will no longer give those voters a 30-day deadline to respond or be declared “inactive,” and it will immediately recognize as active nearly half of the 383,487 voters who received the notices last month as part of the state’s biennial effort to clean up its voting rolls. “We reviewed the process and determined that these revisions would be in the best interest of all Georgia voters,” said Candice Broce, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.
The notices are a central part of what’s often referred to as voter registration list maintenance. They are used by states across the country to confirm whether a voter has moved outside a registrar’s jurisdiction, and they are part of the effort to ensure states have accurate and current voter registration lists.
Every other year, Georgia uses information received from the U.S. Postal Service and compares the list of people who submitted a change of address form with the state’s overall list of registered voters.
It then creates a list of voters in each county of those who haven’t updated their registration record to reflect a new address. It also pre-prints mailers. Each county then pays for postage and sends those mailers to people on the list asking them to confirm their address or where they live now.