Federal judge says Georgia must ease rule for voters proving citizenship as Election Day looms

Saturday, November 3, 2018
By Paul Martin

Georgia must make it easier for voters flagged as potential noncitizens to prove their U.S. citizenship at the polls, a federal judge ruled
The Friday ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Eleanor L. Ross comes just four days before Election Day
Roughly 51,100 Georgians have been flagged as ineligible to vote because of registration problems
The judge ruled the state unfairly burdens about 3,100 possible voters whose registration was flagged for citizenship issues
She ruled that Georgia must immediately start allowing poll managers, in addition to deputy registrars, to clear flagged voters who show citizenship proof

DAILYMAIL.COM
3 November 2018

Georgia must make it easier for voters flagged as potential noncitizens to prove their U.S. citizenship at the polls, a federal judge ruled Friday in an injunction ordering the state to change its procedure just four days before Election Day.

A spokeswoman for state Attorney General Chris Carr did not immediately say whether the state would appeal. Spokeswoman Katie Byrd said state attorneys were reviewing the order.

The injunction by U.S. District Court Judge Eleanor L. Ross addresses a specific issue that arose from a broader lawsuit by civil rights groups who in October filed a broader challenge to Georgia’s ‘exact match’ verification process.

The state requires identification information on voter registration applications to precisely match information already on file with the Georgia Department of Driver Services or the Social Security Administration.

Some mismatches are triggered by variations in a name, like a dropped hyphen, or because of data entry errors.

Other people are flagged as potential noncitizens, often because the state driver’s license database hasn’t been updated to reflect their naturalization.

Roughly 51,100 Georgians have been flagged as ineligible to vote because of such registration problems.

The judge ruled the state unfairly burdens about 3,100 possible voters whose registration was flagged for citizenship issues, because only a deputy registrar is allowed to clear them to vote a regular ballot when the voters show proof of citizenship at the polls.

She ruled that Georgia must immediately start allowing poll managers, in addition to deputy registrars, to clear flagged voters who show proof of citizenship.

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