Scores of Fulton voters wrongly identified as felons |


Scores of Fulton voters wrongly identified as felons |

Fulton County has erroneously notified scores of residents that they might not be eligible to vote because they were convicted felons.

Fulton officials blamed the problem on faulty information obtained from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. The state says it’s the county’s responsibility to verify the list of potential felons.

Fulton Registrations Manager Ralph Jones said the 166 affected people will be allowed to vote, although the county may not notify them until Friday — just a few days before Tuesday’s municipal elections.

In a letter delivered Tuesday, state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, asked Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp for an explanation of the problem and called the move a “voter suppression tactic.” In a separate letter, Fort asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to send federal election monitors to Georgia next Tuesday, citing other recent problems attributed to the state’s new election software.

Kemp’s spokesman, Jared Thomas, said it’s Fort’s right to communicate with the attorney general.

“We are focused on the municipal elections currently under way,” Thomas said.

The Secretary of State’s Office regularly provides counties with lists of possible felons who might not be eligible to vote. The names are obtained by matching the names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and other data against the state’s voter registration database.

Fulton usually notifies voters of the finding without double-checking the state’s work and seldom gets more than one or two complaints, Jones said. This month, the county received 42 phone calls and reviewed the felon data after mailing the notices.

via Scores of Fulton voters wrongly identified as felons |

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