The Georgia Secretary of State Office will send notices to the addresses of 1,177 inactive voters from Oconee County next week as part of the state-wide effort to clean and update the voter files.
Across the state, according to a news release from the Secretary of State Office issued Wednesday, the notice will go to 313,243 inactive voters.
Oconee County recipients of the letter can go online to update their registration, contact the Oconee County Board of Elections and Registration, or return the confirmation card contained with the notice from the Secretary of State Office, according to the news release.
The 1,177 Oconee County registered voters who are to receive the letter from the Secretary of State Office represent 48.3 percent of the 2,436 inactive voters in Oconee County and 3.8 percent of the 30,808 total voters in the county.
Of the 1,177 Oconee County voters on the list, 533, or 45.3 percent, had completed a National Change of Address form with the U.S. Postal Service showing they had moved to a different county or state.
Another 285, or 24.2 percent, had election mail returned as undeliverable.
The remaining 359, or 30.5 percent, have had no contact with county election officials since prior to the 2012 presidential election and failed to respond to a confirmation card sent by the Oconee County Board of Elections and Registration Office.
The Georgia Secretary of State Office issued a news release Wednesday, available on the Office web site, saying the Secretary of State is making routine and legally required updates to Georgia’s voter file that will reduce the size of the voter roll by 4 percent.
“These updates are required by federal and state law in order to ensure that the state has the most up-to-date voter information,” the release continues.
|Click To Enlarge|
The Secretary of State Office will mail a notice “next week” to the last known address of people who have been in “inactive” status for more than three years and had no contact with election officials during that time, according to the release.
An Oconee County registration is moved to “inactive” status when the person fails to respond to a pre-addressed, postage paid confirmation card sent out from the Oconee County Board of Elections or Registration asking her or him to confirm or update the voter information.
The confirmation card is required to be sent to people who have filed a National Change of Address Card with the U.S. Postal Service indicating that they have moved to a new address, had election mail returned as undeliverable, or did not have any contact with election officials (including not voting) for the three prior years, according to the news release.
Voters In State
Of the 313,243 voters statewide on the inactive registration list, 108,306, or 34.6 percent, filed a change of address request with the U.S. Postal Service showing they have moved to a different county or state, the Wednesday news release states.
That figure was 45.3 percent for Oconee County.
Another 84,376, or 26.9 percent, had election mail returned as undeliverable, compared with 24.2 percent for Oconee County.
The remaining 120,561, or 38.5 percent, have had no contact with their county election officials since prior to the 2012 presidential election and failed to respond to a confirmation card sent by their county elections office.
The comparable figure for Oconee County was 30.5 percent.
Jennifer Stone, assistant director of the Oconee County Board of Elections and Registration, provided me today (Thursday) with the Oconee County data as of Sept. 30 on the number of active and inactive voters.
State Data Point Missing
The Secretary of State news release states that the 313,243 inactive voters represents “about 4 percent of Georgia’s total number of registered voters.”
I called the Secretary of State Office this afternoon to get the exact “total number of registered voters” in Georgia. The data files on the web site are only for active voters.
A person named Dennis in the Election Division told me to file an open records request for the information.
I said that was unacceptable and asked for another person. I left a voice mail message with that person when I did not get an answer, but I never received a call back.
I next called Walter Jones in the Secretary of State Press Office, who said he didn’t have the figure but would get back to me with it. I have not heard back from him. (See Note below.)
The Secretary of State news release contains a link to an Excel file of 313,243 inactive voters.
I downloaded that file, which is organized alphabetically, and sorted it by county.
I have put the file of Oconee County voters on my box.net site.
The information in the file is what was released by the Secretary of State Office and includes name, address, year of birth, and voter registration number.
Fran Leathers, director of Oconee County Elections and Registration, told me on Wednesday before the list was released that she did not know how many Oconee County voters would be on the list created by the Secretary of State Office.
The Secretary of State Office made the determination of which Oconee County registered voters should be put on the list, Leathers said.
Voters will have 30 days to respond to the letter from the Secretary of State Office, according ot the news release.
Leathers said that Oconee County had 1,572 voters removed from the list in 2017. The Georgia House passed legislation subsequently requiring that the Secretary of State mail out a notice prior to removal.
NOTE: I called Jones at the Secretary of State Office again in the afternoon of Nov. 1. He texted me back about an hour later with the following: Georgia Total Voters (7,420,556), Active Voters (6,755,538), Inactive Voters (665,018). The 313,243 voters who are being challenged represent 4.2 percent of the total voters, or 47.1 percent of the inactive voters.