Georgia’s gubernatorial election is fraught with accusations of voter suppression after GOP candidate Brian Kemp — who also oversees the state’s elections as the current Secretary of State — blocked 53,000 voter registrations from being processed before the deadline on Tuesday. Most of those registrations were submitted by black voters.
Current polling averages in the November 6 election for Georgia governor has Kemp ahead by just two points in front of Democrat Stacey Abrams, which is well within the margin of error. This means the Georgia governor’s race could very well come down to 53,000 votes or less. Given the overwhelming advantage Kemp has, given his position as the person who will certify the results of the election he’s running in, it may seem hopeless for Georgians who have been purged.
But residents purged from the voter rolls, regardless of where they live, still have several options to cast a ballot and have it counted.
First, any voter who faces obstacles at their polling place should keep the number saved for the national election protection hotline, 866-687-8683 (866-OUR-VOTE). That hotline is administered by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and can serve as an advocate for any voter targeted by voter suppression.
If, for some reason, your name has been purged from the voter rolls on election day without your knowledge or consent, you can still cast a provisional ballot. Typically, provisional ballots are given out if a voter’s name is not on the rolls, or if a certain identifying document is missing. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), provisional ballots can still be counted if election officials determine that voter is eligible to vote. However, Idaho, Minnesota, and New Hampshire don’t issue provisional ballots.
Voters headed to the polls should make sure to read about what the voter ID laws are in their respective states and make sure to bring all appropriate documents to their polling place on Election Day. The NCSL’s database of state voter ID laws shows what kind of ID is necessary for voters to have before casting a ballot in all 50 states. Georgia, for example, has a strict photo ID law, and anyone who shows up at their voting precinct without the proper photo ID will be offered a provisional ballot and must show ID within three days to have the ballot counted.
Aside from Georgia, six other states — Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin — also have what the NCSL classifies as “strict” photo ID laws.
Voters can check their voter registration status by visiting vote.org. Election Day is on Tuesday, November 6.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.