Lawsuit Accuses Georgia of Blocking Voting Rights

Voting polls Credit: Thinkstock

A group of voting rights advocates is suing Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, accusing him of blocking the right to vote of thousands of people, particularly minorities.

The action, brought by the Georgia NAACP, the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda and the legal nonprofit Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta, says that a technicality in the voter registration process in which their personal identification information must exactly match the same letters and numbers in the state’s driver’s information and federal Social Security databases.

If just one of the characters is off and the registrant does not correct it in 40 days of being notified, the person’s application is cancelled and the applicant does not go on the voter rolls. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the suit alleges that the policy violates the Voting Rights Act. Plaintiffs in the case say they have found that Georgia denied 34,874 voter registration applications due to mismatched information between 2013 and 2016.

Kemp maintained that there has been no denial of voting rights and that the verification process the state uses was cleared by federal authorities in 2010.

“This lawsuit is an effort by liberal groups to disrupt voter registration just weeks before November’s important election,” Kemp’s spokesperson Candace Broce told the Journal-Constitution.

The plaintiffs in the suit are being assisted by Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Project VOTE. The lawsuit comes just a week before the beginning of early voting in the presidential election.