Georgia Voter Rights
The New Georgia Project (NGP) is a project of NEO Philanthropy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization which has been around for nearly two decades, working on Hurricane Katrina relief, education around access to health insurance, and civic engagement initiatives. NGP is focused on registering, engaging and advocating for the New American Majority – African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans - who are vastly underrepresented in Georgia's democracy.
During our first few years, NGP has learned a lot, grown our team, partners and outreach, and built a long-term strategy to support our mission across the state. Our staff members are experienced advocates and organizers, and there’s tremendous support and energy around our mission. The size and the reach of our first large-scale voter registration drive exposed several deficiencies in Georgia’s VR processing procedure, and the various ways that citizens of color were being disenfranchised in Georgia. Because our primary goal is to expand our democracy, we continue to work alongside our allies to encourage and empower citizens of color to register and vote, and with the Secretary of State and the counties to identify and remove the barriers Georgians face when trying to participate in our democracy.
As reported last year, of the roughly 86,000 voter registration applications we submitted in 2014, an estimated 40,000 registrants were missing from the rolls on Election Day. A Mandamus Action, brought by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the NAACP, that sought to force the processing of all of these forms, was dismissed.
From our internal analysis by leading data firms, we have learned that thousands of voters were added to the rolls after Election Day. From what we can tell, the breakdown of applications submitted in 2014 is as follows:
- NGP submitted a total of 86k registrations;
- 5k applications were duplicates;
- 46k were matched to the voter file by Election Day, 2014;
- 7k were canceled out of the state’s voter registration system. We do not know details on why applicants were canceled;
- In total, 64k applicants were matched to the voter file by Fall, 2015.
- 18k applicants were added to the rolls after Election Day 2014.
The New Georgia Project and our allies are not deterred. In 2016 we continue to register, engage and advocate for underrepresented Georgians, focusing on the remaining 800,000 unregistered citizens of color. We’re developing innovative tools that make the democratic process more accessible, and increasing awareness of the importance of active civic participation.
Our work continues.
The New Georgia Project launched a large scale voter registration and civic engagement effort in early 2014 focused on African American, Latino and Asian American citizens of our state. Below is a breakdown of our 2014 budget: