Much has been made in the press regarding the 53,000 voter registrations filed shortly before the registration deadline in Georgia that Secretary of State Brian Kemp was allegedly holding and not processing in order to suppress voters. But it turns out to be the usual story: Secretary Kemp was following state law by checking the identity numbers provided in the registrations before registering the new voters and many of the "new" voter registrations either belonged to people who did not exist or who were already registered to vote.
Erick Erickson reported the breakdown in the 53,000 registrations:
9,224 are ‘pending’ because the person is 17.5
2,935 used a fake address
3,393 are ‘pending’ because citizenship could not be verified
5,842 are ‘pending’ because they match another active voter file
After you remove underage, fake addresses, duplicates, and non-citizens, you have roughly 46,000 ‘pending’ on the list.
75% are on the list because they failed Social Security Number verification, a process put in place under the Obama Administration.
Mr. Erickson points out that instead of being "new" registrations, many of the registrations have been pending since 2014:
Now, here's the kicker. 23% of these were submitted by the New Georgia Project, the non-profit set up by Stacey Abrams. Those 23% have been pending since 2014, which means 11,024 pending voters have never shown up at a Board of Elections office anywhere in Georgia or at a voting precinct. Also, 1,323 or 3% match a recently cancelled voter registration record, meaning the voter died, was convicted or pled guilty to committing a felony, or turned out to be a non-citizen.
Stacey Abrams is Secretary Kemp's opponent in this year's Georgia gubernatorial election, so there is likely a politically motivated reason that this is in the news now instead of anytime in the past four years.
While election officials have an obligation to ensure that all eligible voters who register to vote are timely registered so they can exercise their right to vote, they also have an obligation to follow the law and ensure that all checks of new registrations are performed. This also protects citizens' right to vote by preventing ineligible persons from being added to the voter registration lists, which protects against fraud and mistake. Secretary Kemp's office has been following the law by performing the required checks on voter registration forms received before registering a person to vote.
Of course, while this might seem like common sense, it is worth remembering that the left considers voter registration itself a tool of voter suppression, so any verification procedure prior to registering will likewise be considered voter suppression:
The registration fight in Georgia is just part of a larger effort by the Left to undo any reforms that increase the security and integrity of the voter-registration and election process. Ensuring election integrity begins with creating and maintaining accurate voter rolls. Voter registration is an essential part of the process, and it should be a bipartisan effort.
Maintaining accurate voter registration rolls, in accordance with state and federal law, is a constant effort of many hard-working election officials around the country. Unfortunately, liberal activists and organizations attempt to make those officials' jobs very difficult by fighting every effort to keep the registration lists accurate.