Terri Sewell calls Georgia voter verification law ‘voter suppression’

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More than 6.9 million Georgians are registered to vote in next month’s general election, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office reported Wednesday.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced Georgia shattered the all-time voter registration record with over 6,915,000 active and inactive voters on the rolls. Kemp expects the total number to break 7,000,000 voters at any moment as counties continue to process forms received by yesterday’s deadline.

“Despite what you hear or read, the numbers are clear. While outside agitators disparage this office and falsely attack us, we have kept our heads down and remained focused on ensuring secure, accessible, and fair elections for all voters. The fact is that it has never been easier to register to vote and get engaged in the electoral process in Georgia, and we are incredibly proud to report this new record.”

But despite the record numbers, some are still frustrated with the state’s voter registration process as there are currently more than 53,000 voter registration applications that were not immediately approved because they failed to clear the state’s “exact match” standard. According to Georgia law, if a registering voter’s information on a their registration form does not match the information in a federal or state database, the applicant’s status is marked “pending.” From there, applicants have 26 months to provide up-to-date information. They are also able to present the information at the polls and be eligible to vote a regular ballot on the spot

Alabama 7th District U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell for one, is calling this “voter suppression.”

This voter suppression needs to stop. Voters are supposed to choose their lawmakers, not the other way around,” Sewell posted on Facebook.

Two groups, the Lawyers’ Committee and the Campaign Legal Center, have filed a lawsuit against Kemp regarding the voter verification practice, alleging that the exact match system violates the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act, and the U.S. Constitution. It remains to be seen what will happen to the more than 53,000 applications in waiting.

The voter registration deadline in Georgia was Tuesday, October 9.

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