29 Oct 2014

Judge Refuses To Intervene In 40,000 Lost Voter Registrations In Georgia

Earlier this year organizers spread out into every one of Georgia’s 159 counties and registered almost 90,000 new voters-the majority of them being people of color and under the age of 25. When the organizers checked their database against the state’s they noticed that nearly 50,000 of those registrations had vanished-the majority of them being people of color in Democratic-leaning regions.
Georgia State Minority leader Stacey Abrams, whose New Georgia project spearheaded the voter registration drive claimed that the Secretary of State refused to meet with them.

“We asked the Secretary of State to meet with us. We wanted to understand if we were doing something wrong, or if there was another database we didn’t have access to. But he refused to meet with us,” she said.
Even when early voting was underway they still hadn’t heard back. Along with the Georgia NAACP and the  Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law they went to court and tried to compel Fulton County Superior Court Judge Christopher Brasher to process every valid registration.
Lawyers for Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp claim that the state sets no limit on when registrations are processed and people unsure of their status can cast a provisional ballot. In doing so they have to return in three days to present additional documentation. Head of the Georgia NAACP Francys Johnson calls this “Unacceptable.”
“I cannot tell you what little return we actually see in terms of provisional ballots,” Johnson said. “The election is decided the night of the election. It’s not really a ballot at all.”
Today Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition to force the Secretary of State to process nearly 40,000 voter registrations. Even though early voting has begun in the state the judge referred to the lawsuit as “premature.”

“All in all – a republican appointed judge has backed the republican Secretary of State to deny the right to vote to a largely African American and Latino population,” Johnson wrote in a press release.


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