Christine Jordan, the 94-year-old cousin of Martin Luther King Jr., has been casting her ballot at the same voting center in Atlanta since 1968. She held civil rights meetings in her home and has never missed an election in 50 years.
But when Jordan went to vote in 2018, she was told there was no record of her ever voting in any election. Her story is far from unique. 1.8 million voters were turned away from the polls in 2016 when Donald Trump won the presidency thanks to the 77,744 votes he claimed in the battleground states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The team behind the short 14-minute film The Purged, which EW exclusively premiered, doesn’t want that to happen to Jordan or anyone else in 2020, in what might be the most pivotal election in American history.
Will & Grace star Debra Messing, who narrates the documentary, tells EW she first realized voter purges were an issue when the office of Brian Kemp, who ran against Stacey Abrams for governor of Georgia in 2018, was found to have a purge list that targeted Black and Brown people and young voters.
“It is an urgent concern. The great thing is that people right now can check to see if they’re on the purge list by going to SaveMyVote.org.” Messing says. “There are many states where you can register on Election Day. So you can go and register and vote on the same day. That’s what we’re hoping to do, we’re hoping to get the message out that it’s possible that you’ve been purged. And here is a way that you can rectify it.”Debra Messing, DiCaprio and Palast Release ‘The Purged’ – Greg Palast