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U.S. Justice Department Objects to Georgia's Voter Registration Rules

Published on June 1, 2009, by in General.

On May 29, the U.S. Department of Justice objected to Georgia rules for voter registration that were passed in 2008. Georgia is one of the states that can’t change its election laws without approval by the Voting Rights Section of the Justice Department. The 2008 Georgia rules say that when someone registers to vote, the information on that registration form is matched against Social Security records, and Georgia drivers license records, and if any discrepancy is found, the voter registration is rejected.

The Justice Department letter says that by March 2009, the state had rejected 199,606 registration forms, and that a disproportinate number of the rejected forms are minority ethnic groups. The Justice Department letter cites evidence that the vast majority of rejected voter registration forms were rejected because a single digit was accidentally transposed in a drivers license number, or a Social Security number. See this news story, which contains a link to the Justice Department’s 6-page letter of disapproval. Thanks to Rick Hasen’s Election Law Blog for the link.

Note that this issue is separate from the 2009 Georgia law that requires newly-registering voters to submit documents proving that they are citizens. The process of obtaining Justice Department approval for that law lies in the future.

10 Responses

  1. Linda McCarver

    I think this is the most rediculous decision ever made by the Justice Department.

  2. Scott Sims

    Are you kidding me with this??? Well, I guess they just want to be able to go to the local Home Depot, load up the truck with all the illegal workers, and pay them to walk in to the voters booth and stuff the ballot box for them with no resistance.

  3. Richard

    The problem with Georgia’s system is that they automatically reject the voter registration form if there isn’t a match. Other states investigate the discrepancies but don’t take summary action against the applicant. It’s like putting people in jail before giving them a trial.

  4. To people who don’t understand why the U.S. Constitution is rejected out of hand in this situation: Georgia is still a conquered province.
    I remember the first time I tried to register to vote in that poor benighted state. The form demanded to know my race!
    And it wasn’t the Georgians who demanded such an answer: It was the federal government, the mis-called “Department of Justice.”
    Later it became optional whether to answer and I believe now the forms don’t even ask.
    But remember, despite the 14th Amendment, some states, and thus some people, are very definitely treated unequally by the federal government.

  5. Richard

    Many states asked for race of registered voters long before the Voting Rights Act. Louisiana even had a law saying the ballot should include the race of each candidate, which was invalidated by the US Supreme Court in 1964, before the Voting Rights Act existed (Anderson v Martin). Oklahoma omitted race of each white candidate on the ballot, but if a black person ran for anything in Oklahoma, the government printed “Negro” next to his or her name. The 10th circuit invalidated that in 1954. So don’t blame the federal government for state actions keeping track of the race of voters.

  6. Richard, you obviously didn’t read what I said: It WAS the federal government demanding the declaration of race.
    It WAS the mis-called “Department of Justice” making the demand, under some aspect or other of a “Civil Rights” or “Voting Rights” act.
    Please look at what I said: This was in the 1990s!
    Of course some backward states made race important before the Civil Rights movement, and I probably am more aware of that than you.
    Please do not distort or misstate what I said. Please.

  7. Paul P.

    The Department of Justice is making sure the door is wide open for more voter fraud from groups like ACORN and the New Black Panthers.

    Why did Obama direct the DOJ to override career prosecutors and drop a civil rights suit against the New Black Panthers for threatening voters?

    The Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have identified the New Black Panthers as a hate group. They were caught on video threatening voters, carrying weapons, shouting racist remarks, etc.

    When they didn’t defend themselves of the charges they were essentially already found guilty by default. So why then would Obama want to drop the charges against them?

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/29/protecting-black-panthers/

  8. 199,606 forms were rejected?

    It was more like a couple thousand, and half of them weren’t citizens. The ones that were citizens entered a wrong number on their form. Verifying voter registration is necessary to protect democracy, but you libs don’t care much about that do you?

    The AJC article says this:
    The Justice Department declined to share the stats that it said proved discrimination. “Internal deliberations and discussions regarding charging decisions are not something we can provide.”

  9. Richard

    Yes 199,606 forms were rejected. There were two separate Georgia programs for rejecting voter registration forms. 199,606 forms were rejected for not matching social security or drivers license numbers. The reference to a couple of thousand refers to the other program for rejecting voters, concerning citizenship.

  10. You clearly didn’t even read the DOJ letter.

    199,606 forms were NOT rejected. That was the number of people who were flagged for verification under the R1 process.

    If anything, this merely signifies the inefficiencies of our government. They certainly need to reform the process. However, completely eliminating voter registration verification will threaten the integrity of our elections.

    But I’m sure you’ll continue reporting fictitious information that seeks to empower vote fraud.

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