How To Prevent Unfair Voter Purges

Torn 'I Voted' on a white background.

Our democracy works best when every voter can participate in it, yet tens of thousands of Americans were removed from voter registration rolls just this year due to an unfair practice called voter purging.  

Voter purges, or efforts to remove a significant number of voters from the registration rolls all at once, ultimately threaten Americans’ freedom to vote and tend to disproportionately target people with past felony convictions, voters of color, low-income voters and young people. 

This large-scale attack on Americans’ freedom to vote is the result of inconsistent and poorly developed standards for maintaining voter lists, which vary from state to state. 

Voter list maintenance is a routine practice and, when done correctly, these processes can increase the accuracy of voter rolls by removing people who pass away or who no longer live in the state, for example. 

When done incorrectly, it means voters can be incorrectly removed from their state’s list of registered voters and denied the freedom to vote. They may not even know they’ve been purged until it is too late to re-register.  

In collaboration with Demos, League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Southern Poverty Law Center, State Voices, and Fair Elections Center, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) released a new resource guide to serve as a tool for advocates, lawmakers, and election workers, that provides strategies to improve voter list maintenance.

Click Here to View Voter Purge Legislative Resource Guide. 

We must safeguard the freedom to vote by ensuring that every voter who wants to vote can do so without unnecessary barriers or hurdles. As we prepare for the 2024 election, state lawmakers and election officials should implement these common sense recommendations to prevent voter purges and protect the freedom to vote in every state.