Georgia’s voting backlog battle – Sarah Wheaton –


Georgia’s voting backlog battle – Sarah Wheaton –

ATLANTA — Democrats Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter need to scrape together every vote they can to take a Senate seat and the Georgia governor’s mansion in November.

And as many as 40,000 votes could now be at stake.

Civil rights groups filed a lawsuit on Friday over a backlog of new voter registrations some activists say is so large that it amounts to an act of voter suppression by the Republican secretary of state. State officials deny wrongdoing, saying county offices are methodically handling a surge in applications, and pointing to fraudulent forms as proof of the need for a careful process.

The fight is adding to the racial sensitivities in two already charged races, including one that could determine which party controls the Senate. With early voting due to start here Monday, the activists’ turn to the court suggests the homestretch in both the Senate and governors races could be even more fierce than expected.

The lawsuit, filed in Fulton County Superior Court, requests that a judge order five counties and Secretary of State Brian Kemp to immediately process some 40,000 backlogged voter registration forms. Some of the forms, according to the civil rights groups, were turned in months ago.

“Waiting for the state to act is not an option for us because we have folks who applied back in March and April who have yet to make it onto the rolls,” said Democratic state Rep. Stacey Abrams, a 40-year-old Yale-trained lawyer who leads the New Georgia Project, a voter registration initiative behind many of the applications.

Jared Thomas, a spokesman for Kemp, said: “The state is following the law just as it always has. Any lawsuit to the contrary is frivolous.”

via Georgia’s voting backlog battle – Sarah Wheaton –

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