Ga. House Minority Leader Bob Trammell is fighting for our right to vote. As of last year 1.3 million Ga. voters have been declared “inactive” and thus have lost their right to vote under current Ga. law. But Trammell is fighting to remove this law and protect Georgians’ right to vote.
The so-called “no-contact” provision allows Sec. of State Brian Kemp to strip voters of their right to vote by declaring them “inactive” and cancelling their voter registration if they haven’t voted or updated their address in three years. Georgia has used the policy to cancel more than half a million voter registrations this year alone.
The Ga. NAACP and Common Cause, a government watchdog group, filed a lawsuit last year saying that the no-contact provision violated federal voting laws including the National Voter Registration Act. U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr. however, said that nothing in the provision was explicitly prohibited by federal law. So now Trammell hopes to repeal the law.
Who is Kemp trying to keep from voting? He won’t tell us. Project Vote had to sue Kemp in 2016 to get him to release the records.
But if we look back at another one of his recent lawsuits we might be able to make a guess. From 2013 to 2016, Kemp removed nearly 35,000 voters from the registration list for having minor discrepancies — as minor as an out-of-place hyphen, space or apostrophe in voter registration forms.
Nearly 64 percent of those removed were African American. African Americans were eight times more likely to be targeted than whites and Hispanics and Latinos were six times more likely to be targeted.
So the question remains, why would conservatives like Kemp want fewer people at the polls? That’s easy. If more people participate in our democracy, it’s less likely that corrupt, incompetent politicians like Kemp will continue to get elected.