ATLANTA — As Georgia prepares to vote a second time this year for U.S. Senate on Tuesday, the question of just how many voters there are in the Peach State is bubbling up.
The question was trending as a Google search term, and 11Alive received the question in some variations from viewers.
It's not quite as straightforward to answer as you might think, but thankfully we have clarification from the Georgia Secretary of State's Office on the matter.
How many registered voters in Georgia are there?
Without overcomplicating things (yet) the best answer we have is: 7,866,677.
However, that number doesn't quite tell the whole story.
Active voters vs. total voters
As you can find at this data hub produced by the Georgia Secretary of State's Office, the number of total "active" voters is a bit smaller than our number above: 7,007,154.
That's because the state distinguishes between any voter and "active" voters.
This has to do with some regulations about when and how the state can remove people from the voter rolls. Some voters, who haven't participated in elections recently, get moved to "inactive" status (they can still go vote and be returned to "active" status, but being classified as inactive does move them closer to eventually being removed from voter rolls.)
The Secretary of State's Office confirmed for 11Alive the number on the state data hub is in fact just active voters. They told us the number of active voters is actually a little larger than displayed - 7,008,203 - and that there are additionally 858,474 inactive voters.
That's how we come to a total population of registered voters in Georgia as 7,866,677. Any of them will be able to vote on Tuesday in the runoff - you don't have to vote in November to be eligible for the runoff, and in fact independent trackers report just under 78,000 people who didn't vote in November have already voted in the runoff.
But, new provisions in state law determining the runoff timeline essentially meant no new unregistered voters were able join the voter rolls if they waited until the midterms to do so. That's because the last day to register to vote in time for the runoff was Nov. 7 -- the day before the general election.