Purging voters is one of the more insidious ways to exclude otherwise eligible voters from our democracy. We’re working to get purged voters back on the rolls before Election Day.
Sign up today to make sure everyone has a chance to cast their ballot come November.
The COVID-19 crisis has thrown some of the most pressing inequalities we as Americans face into sharp relief. It’s taken the lives and livelihoods of too many, and now it’s threatening our ability to cast a ballot this November.
In the wake of a global pandemic, states have been slow to adopt safer voting measures. Just take the Wisconsin primary, which was marred by confusion, long lines, and a lack of efficient absentee voting. What’s more, the fight for nationwide vote-by-mail infrastructure rages on, with many in Congress arguing against giving citizens the opportunity to vote in the safest, most effective way possible.
We need to make sure everyone has an opportunity to cast their ballot. If you’re ready to help out, click here to join our organizing team today!
JOIN THE ORGANIZING TEAM
Help make sure people are registered and have the information they need to vote. Sign up to text people who have been purged from the voter rolls and make sure they can cast their ballot this November.
HOW CAN I HELP?
Texting eligible voters to get them registered and back on the voter rolls is quick, easy, and most importantly, it’s essential. You can help make sure people are ready to vote and have the information they need through a simple text message. Bringing younger voters and voters of color back onto the voter rolls will make sure the electorate looks like the American people.
Our goal? Making sure that 750,000 purged voters are re-registered in time to vote this November. And you’re going to help us get there.
If you’re ready to help make that a reality, sign up and join our organizing team today.
VOTER SUPPRESSION IN THE UNITED STATES
Unfortunately, voter suppression long predates the COVID-19 crisis. The 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA) was meant to overturn the Jim Crow laws that disenfranchised Black voters since the end of the Civil War, particularly in the South. Laws such as literacy tests and poll taxes were designed specifically to keep Black voters from casting their ballots.
In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the VRA known as federal preclearance, which legally bound nine states with a deep history of racial discrimination to obtain federal approval when altering their election laws. Without federal preclearance, the floodgates opened, ushering in a wave of discriminatory voting laws across the country.
One of the more insidious ways of excluding people from our democracy that rarely makes the news is when targeted voters are purged from the voter rolls.
Purging voters is meant to be a neutral process to keep a state’s voter rolls clean and up-to-date by canceling registrations for voters might have moved out of state or passed away during the year.
However, in recent years, purges have been used to disenfranchise voters across the country, removing otherwise eligible voters for the wrong reasons. For example, in Arkansas, thousands of voters were erroneously flagged to be purged in 2016 as the state sought to cull voters who had been convicted of felonies. Similarly, in 2018, 40,000 names on Ohio’s list of 235,000 inactive voters were actually still eligible to vote. And in Georgia, 107,000 voters were removed from the rolls in 2017 due to the state’s “use it or lose it” law, which flags otherwise eligible voters who haven’t cast a ballot or made contact with the board of elections within the past three years.
These purges — particularly in states with a history of racially-motivated voting restrictions — disproportionately target voters of color. Many don’t know a purge has affected them until it’s too late to act, especially when voters live in a state without same-day voter registration.
According to the Brennan Center, at least 17 million voters were purged nationwide between 2016 and 2018 — and the number is sure to increase this voting cycle.
That’s why we’re working at the state level to remove discriminatory barriers to voting, identify those who have been purged from the voter rolls, and text them to make sure they get re-registered.