Kemp wants to take Justice Department to court


ATLANTA — Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp wants to take the Department of Justice to court over the state's voter verification process.

The state's voter verification process requires that first-time, would-be voters confirm they are in fact U.S. citizens, officials say. But, the Justice Department has previously disallowed the checks.

“The State of Georgia will no longer watch the Obama Justice Department play politics with our election processes and protections,” Kemp said in a news release. “The Justice Department is denying Georgia's legal requirement to verify the information provided by new voter registration applicants.”

Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, states with a “history of racial discrimination,” including Georgia, must receive approval from the Justice Department before making such election changes.

Meanwhile, Kemp, a Republican, also wants the Justice Department to approve Senate Bill 86. The law requires anyone registering to vote to submit proof of United States citizenship with their application; the proof could include a driver's license number, U.S. passport or a number of other documents.

“The voter verification process and Senate Bill 86 are common sense measures to ensure voter registration applicants are who they say they are, and that applicants are U.S. citizens,” Kemp said.

Kemp has asked Attorney General Thurbert Baker, a Democrat, to appoint a special counsel to file the suit.

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