Little Rock– Get Loud Arkansas (GLA) Executive Director, Senator Joyce Elliott, announced a new effort to contact over 104,000 Arkansans who may have been inappropriately removed from the voting rolls since 2020. “We will be calling, emailing, sending mail, and showing up on door steps if that’s what it takes to make sure every eligible Arkansan is able to make their voice heard by voting,” said Elliott.
Section 8 of the National Voter Rights Act of 1993 (NVRA) requires states to maintain accurate and current voter registration lists. This includes rules for changing a registrant’s address information, rules for removing names from the voter registration list, and administration of a voter registration list maintenance program that complies with the Voting Rights Act. Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston is the state’s chief election official, responsible for ensuring compliance with the NVRA in a manner that is uniform and nondiscriminatory.
The NVRA prohibits states from removing individuals from the voter registration list solely for not voting. However, Arkansans who have not voted in two previous federal elections may receive a postcard requesting address confirmation. Anyone who does not respond before the voter registration deadline for the next election will be designated as inactive. If the voter doesn’t respond to a second notice and remains inactive for two more elections, their registration will be canceled. According to an analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School, there are growing concerns that this process may be abused to influence the outcome of elections through a procedure commonly referred to as voter purging.
Elliott contends that the current process is inconsistent and outdated, causing some Arkansans to be kicked off the voting rolls inappropriately. “We must ensure the accuracy of our voting rolls, and I know we are capable of doing that in a manner that does not continue to disenfranchise communities of people who have been silenced for generations,” stated Elliott, “We will never know what Arkansas is truly capable of until we can make sure all voices are heard.”
Get Loud Arkansas is a nonprofit civic engagement organization working to fight voter suppression, register new voters, engage low turnout voters, and mobilize communities to use the power of their vote to shape the future of Arkansas. The group has launched an online platform to search the list of voters whose registration has been canceled since the 2020 election. Learn more at getloudarkansas.org/purgedvoters.