ATLANTA – Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp today announced the state is suing the federal government over “preclearance” of its voter verification process.
“The Justice Department’s unjustified denials of preclearance have resulted in Georgia being the only state in the country barred from complying with the federal Help America Vote Act’s voter verification requirement,” Kemp said in a statement. “The State has filed this lawsuit for one reason: so we can comply with the Help America Vote Act by verifying that applicants are who they say they are and that they are U.S. citizens.”
Last month, Gov. Sonny Perdue named Anne W. Lewis as a special attorney general and Frank B. Strickland and Bryan P. Tyson as deputy special attorneys general in a quest to obtain federal court approval of two election procedures, including the state’s voter verification process. The verification process requires that first-time, would-be voters confirm they are in fact U.S. citizens, officials say.
In February, the feds denied administrative preclearance of the verification process, saying additional information was needed. State officials previously said they provided all needed information.
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 election changes.