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SPLC Action Fund Condemns Georgia Bill That Would Sanction Widespread Vigilante-Style Voter Challenges

S.B. 221 Would Allow Georgia Voters to be Challenged and Removed from Voter Rolls with Scant or Unreliable Evidence

ATLANTA – Today, the Georgia State Senate will hear S.B. 221, which would allow any Georgia voter’s registration to be challenged with unreliable evidence. The bill requires only “probable cause” for a Georgian to be purged from the voter rolls. It also permits National Change of Address (NCOA) records to be used as evidence for such removal, despite proven unreliability of the database in a series of court cases.

S.B. 221 would impose more burdens on elected officials, criminalize more activities related to voting and contribute to election misinformation by pandering to those who continue to peddle unproven 2020 conspiracy theories.

The following statement on the bill is from Isabel Otero, Georgia policy director for the SPLC Action Fund:

“By removing guardrails and sanctioning widespread vigilante-style voter challenges, S.B. 221 represents the latest assault on the right to vote of Georgian communities. Georgians who have done everything right will be challenged by strangers trying to take away their right to vote. Over 92,000 voters were challenged during the 2022 election, infringing on the rights of voters and costing time and money to individuals and the state. This new bill will only make things worse.

“Just like previous attempts to diminish the voices of voters, the Georgia Legislature is weaponizing conspiracy theories and misinformation from the 2020 election to try to turn Georgians against each other. This continues a pattern in Georgia of creating barriers to voting that will cost taxpayers thousands to process such voter challenges.

“That’s why we call on Georgians across the state to make their voices heard by contacting their senators and demanding that they stop wasteful and divisive efforts to diminish our voice in government. Instead, we should demand that they make voting accessible to all Georgians, so we all have a fair voice advocating for the changes we want to see in our communities.”