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Advancing Justice-Atlanta applauds Secretary Kemp’s decision to restore thousands to the voter rolls

Norcross, GA, September 27, 2016 — Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta (Advancing Justice-Atlanta) applauds the Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, for restoring the right to vote to thousands of Georgia’s voters. Following a lawsuit filed by Advancing Justice- Atlanta, Secretary Kemp has suspended the practice of canceling voter registrations and will restore to pending status all voter registrations that were canceled since October 2014 because of the exact match protocol.

Under the exact match protocol, the State compares the information on every voter registration application against the Department of Driver Services (DDS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases. If the information on the voter registration application does not exactly match the information in the aforementioned databases word for word, space for space, hyphen for hyphen, the prospective voter is given 40 days from the day the application was first processed to fix the problem. Since 2010, this has resulted in thousands of Georgians, especially in the Asian American, African-American and Latino communities, being dropped from the voter rolls.

On September 14th, 2016, Advancing Justice – Atlanta, along with the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP (GA NAACP) and Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda (GCPA), filed a lawsuit alleging that alleging that Georgia’s exact-match voter registration verification scheme violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and denies eligible Georgians of their fundamental right to vote under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

Starting Friday, September 23, 2016, the state will not enforce the 40 day deadline. Those voters whose applications were cancelled beginning October 2014 will also be placed back on the voter rolls. All voters will have the opportunity to fix any issues with their applications until and including Election Day.

“We are pleased that the Secretary of State is restoring thousands of voters. The exact match protocol is especially difficult for Asian Americans whose traditional names have too many variations and order. This is only the first step toward our goal of ending the exact match system entirely. Advancing Justice – Atlanta will continue to speak out and work with our partners to voice out against practices that prevents eligible applicants from being able to vote”.

Voters with questions about their registration can contact our Advancing Justice – Atlanta by calling (404) 584-8446 or visit us online at www.advnacingjustice-atlanta.org.

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