Lawsuit: Ga. Voter Registration Process Is Discriminatory

New Lawsuit Alleges Ga. Voter Registration Process Discriminatory

Georgia’s process for verifying information on voter registration applications lacks oversight and puts a “burden” on voters to correct errors they may not have been responsible for in the first place, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court by civil rights groups against Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

“Our analysis reveals that this process has had a disproportionate impact on minority voters,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

To confirm the information included is accurate, Georgia voter registration applications are compared to state Department of Drivers Services and Social Security databases.

When discrepancies appear, voters are notified and have 40 days to respond. If the issue comes up within 30 days of an election, it can be addressed at the polls. That process was approved in 2010 by the U.S. Department of Justice, but the groups suing say they have new evidence it’s discriminatory.  

Clarke said since 2013 Georgia has rejected five times as many voting applications from blacks as from whites, and Latino and Asian names are flagged disproportionately.

Clarke said 42,000 voter registration applications have not been processed or have been rejected outright.

“This lawsuit is an effort by liberal groups to disrupt voter registration just weeks before November’s important election,” said a spokesperson for the Republican-led Secretary of State’s office.

The Lawyer’s Committee, Project Vote, the Campaign Legal Center and the Voting Rights Institute of the Georgetown University School of Law to filed the suit on behalf of the Georgia NAACP, Asian Americans Advancing Justice and the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda.

Kemp’s office was sued in July by Project Vote over information related to its handling of voter registration applications, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.   

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