Via Election Law at Moritz, news from Georgia on GOP voter obstruction (echoing the failed attempt by the Wisconsin GOP last year).
DOJ Issues a Finding on Georgia ProgramSimilar voter obstruction efforts in Wisconsin in the GOP and former McCain-Palin co-chair and Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's obstruction suit last year were tossed out of court here.
On Monday (6/1), the Department of Justice rejected Georgia's voter verification program, which included the use of Social Security numbers and driver's license data to determine citizenship (See the AP story from the Atlanta Journal Constitution for more details). The Georgia Secretary of State has also issued a press release commenting on the decision.
From the AP on the Georgia obstruction program:
In a letter released on Monday, the Justice Department said the (Georgia) state's voter verification program is frequently inaccurate and has a 'discriminatory effect' on minority voters. The decision means Georgia must halt the citizenship checks,And from the decision tossing J.B. Van Hollen's obstruction suit that misstated the mandates of federal law (HAVA):
although the state can still ask the Justice Department to reconsider, according to the letter and to the Georgia secretary of state's office.
'This flawed system frequently subjects a disproportionate number of African-American, Asian and/or Hispanic voters to additional, and more importantly, erroneous burdens on the right to register to vote,' Loretta King, acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's civil rights division, said. King's letter was sent to Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker on Friday.
With respect to maintenance of this list, HAVA is explicit that removal of names occurs only in accordance with state law for states, like Wisconsin, which permit voter registration at the polls on the day of election. HAVA is also quite clear on each state's discretion. For purposes of HAVA's election technology and administration requirements, which include the voter list requirement, the law provides, HAVA provides, 'The specific choices on the methods of complying with the requirements of this subchapter shall be left to the discretion of the state.' ...
On November 4th each qualified voter in Wisconsin will go to the polls, as our Supreme Court said ... vested with the franchise. It doesn't matter if the DOT has misspelled his name or if her middle initial is missing on the voter list.
Neither HAVA nor state law require a database match as a precondition to voting. Nor do they require that the voter show any proof of eligibility, essentially to
reregister, in the event of a mismatch.
Hundreds of pages of paper have been filed and they boil down to this one reality. Nothing in state or federal law requires that there be a data match as a condition on the right to vote. HAVA does not supplant Wisconsin's constitutionally protected
right to establish its own voter eligibility standards.