Georgia’s “exact match” law has frozen more than 53,000 voter registration applications and placed them at risk of future cancellation. Under this law, a voter registration application is placed in “pending” status if the applicant’s name, date of birth, driver’s license or state ID number, last four digits of social security number, or citizenship status on the registration application does not exactly match information on file with the Department of Driver Services (DDS) or Social Security Administration (SSA).
“Mismatches” can occur even when applicants submit complete and accurate voter registration applications. For example, clerical errors that result in the misspelling of a name, the misplacement of a hyphen, or a driver’s license number that is one digit off can result in a mismatch. Mismatches may also occur for naturalized citizens if they are incorrectly flagged as non-citizens. This can occur because the voter registration system uses citizenship data in DDS records that are not automatically updated to reflect changes in citizenship.
If applicants do not correct the mismatch within 26 months, their voter registration is cancelled completely.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta and other civil rights groups filed a lawsuit on October 11, 2018, asking a federal judge to end this law and order that “pending” applications be approved. Because this lawsuit will not be resolved before the upcoming November 6, 2018 election, this advisory is to provide you general information about your rights if your registration application is “pending.”