October 27th, 2008
08:23 PM ET
3 years ago

Thousands of flagged voters can vote, court rules

(CNN) - Georgia must allow thousands of people whose citizenship was questioned by the state's new voter verification system to vote in the upcoming election, a panel of federal judges ruled Monday.

The court ruling will affect about 4,500 people in Georgia who had been "flagged" by the new voter verification system and faced being denied a chance to vote Nov. 4 because their citizenship was questioned.

It could also affect more than 50,000 other registered Georgia voters also flagged by the new system because of mismatches in their personal identification information, such as discrepancies in addresses.

The three-judge panel also ordered Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel to inform all the flagged voters that they can vote.

"We are very pleased that the court agreed with our legal position that the state violated the Voting Rights Act," said Elise Shore, a lawyer with one of the civil right groups who brought the lawsuit.

Shore said the ruling applies to the 4,500 Georgians that were flagged for citizenship reasons and she was uncertain whether it applied to the some 50,000 others that were flagged for other reasons.

The issue was raised in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a Georgia college student who claimed that the secretary of state's voter verification system violated the Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act and caused an illegal purge of voters in the weeks before the election.

Federal law prohibits widespread voter purges within 90 days of the election. In Georgia, that has become a heated issue with some calling the purge "voter suppression."

Handel, a Republican who began working on purging voter rolls from the time of her election in 2006, said the act of verifying voters is not voter suppression.

"I'm grateful for the District Court panel's decision which reinforces the state's voter registration verification procedures," Handel said in a statement. " It is unfortunate that the plaintiffs filed suit to halt this federally required process."


Filed under: Georgia • Voter Problems
soundoff (251 Responses)
  1. joyce

    To those who think Obama is here because of the black support:
    In case you haven't noticed but blacks only make up for 17% of the voting population and history has shown that about 12% vote Democrat during a general election. With that being said, the Democratic nominee is guaranteed about 12% of the electorate votes. The reason why I say 12% because Bush got 5% of the black vote in 2004 and almost 3% in 2000. Anyway, Obama is where he is at because of the support of AMERICANS who want change...black, white, asian, hispanic, rich, poor, handicap, young, and old.

    October 27, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  2. Jeanine G

    Thank Goodness!

    It must have been gutwrenching for many of the flagged voters...this is the most historic election of our lifetimes and to be denied playing their dutiful part of that historical event would have been criminal.

    October 27, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  3. KofTX

    Score another one for Democracy!!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 27, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  4. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    McCain with 2% lead – IN ARIZONA.

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    October 27, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  5. Scott L

    Man, Sal from Howard Stern exposed Obama supporters big time.

    Search You Tube for Harlem Voters Obama.

    He asked them if they are voting Obama. If they said yes, then he asked them why they support Obama, but he gave all of McCain's policies (stay in Iraq, anti stem cell) as reasons and they all agreed as the reasons why they are voting for him.

    The most ridiculous is that two people said "Sarah Palin will do a good job as VP for Obama"

    Remember liberals, these are your fellow Obama voters...you keep GREAT company....

    "Will you be glad Obama selected Palin as his VP if he wins?" "YUP!"

    October 27, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  6. Mccain/Palin's rallies are downright scary

    Thank god! God bless America!

    October 27, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  7. CNN - Getting A Little Better

    Now if they can investigate the following:

    *Voter intimidation in New Mexico
    *Voter machine flips in WV, TX, and NC
    *Voter roll purges in CO
    *Bush insertion into the Supreme Court Decision in OH
    *Voter machine breakdown throughout FL

    . . .and that just a start.

    Fight for your right to vote no matter who you are voting for.

    Don't accept provisional ballots without knowing your rights to vote and your rights as a citizens – provisional ballots may not be counted;

    Ensure you have proper Identification – two forms in some states

    Don't leave home without your voter registration card if required to have one –

    Let your voices be heard - it doesn't matter who registered you (ACORN, Campaign GOTV, or if you did it yourself) – if you are legal you are legal - period.

    Now post that CNN!

    October 27, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  8. al/Alabama

    Good news. Various states are trying any underhanded method they can come up with to suppress the voting rights of bonafide citizens.

    October 27, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  9. Mike

    Gee, once the next pro-amnesty President is in office (because they are both the same) we'll have 12 million more Democrats voting to take money from those that have earned it and give it to those that live off the "system". Sad days for our soon-to-be-gone Republic.

    October 27, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  10. j. williams

    another reason why the dumbocrats will win....i don't think they need the illegal vote this year but the amnesty vote 4 years from now will prove crucial...20 million law breakers...

    October 27, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  11. Colleen

    good news, and about the 2 men who threatened Obama,..
    What did you expect Sarah?

    October 27, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  12. Emery

    This comes as REALLY good news. Illegal voter suppression from Republicans in order to rig this election for McSame and Failin is not only inappropriate, but also underhanded, despicable, and reprehensible....but I guess those are traits of the modern GOP.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2008!!!

    Let's turn some more RED on this map to BLUE!!!!

    October 27, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  13. Lisa the engineer and mom

    I wonder how come the media isn't all over this. So much for palin being the most popular governor.

    "Anchorage Daily News, the most prominent newspaper in United States’ state of Alaska, the home state of the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, has endorsed the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama".

    See – even Alaska knows she isn't qualified.

    Go Barack!!!!!

    October 27, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  14. chippyarm

    As is widely known about Georgia's illegal elections, the state will once again figure out a way to make this election illegal. For fun, read about the time that Georgia had three Governors at one time. Or, read about the time that Talmadge had more votes from one county than there were citizens of the county. Georgia is as backwards as it gets. Trust me, I live here. Red is red (as in redneck will vote red).

    October 27, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  15. Bobby

    Thank you God.
    Oh and the courts too.

    October 27, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  16. Chris from St. Louis

    "Voter Purge" pursued by this Georgia republican is ILLEGAL. Whereas, "voter registration" allegedly by ACORN is NOT.

    October 27, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  17. The World for Obama

    GOOD.

    October 27, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  18. bill for barack

    Nice try McCain.
    Expect to see a tidal wave of Republican dirty tricks between now and next Tuesday.
    If you are still able to vote early where you live then THERE IS NO TIME TO LOSE.

    October 27, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  19. 80 year for Obama

    The courts are right! do not let anyone suppress your vote!

    *******************Obama and Biden 2008! ******************************

    October 27, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  20. Willy Brown

    Obama the Arab will cheat this election away from the Americans that were born here. Unlike Barry...

    October 27, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  21. wishing

    The GOP will, as usual, cry foul. But ask yourselves, and ask them, if this was not an attempt to disenfranchise voters who might vote against them, then why is it nationwide; and why did they wait to just before the election to 'flag' these voters.

    October 27, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  22. Larry of Boston

    Sure, why not have illegal immigrants and criminals vote in this election - those are the types of voters attracted to Obama - Heck , there will be a flood of illegals coming across the border if Obama gets in becasue they have all heard about Obama's redistribution of wealth platform. America get ready for the Great Depression Part II as we had into the great abyss that is Obamaland

    October 27, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  23. ifleftiswrongthenIdontwant2beright

    Voter supression will survive this election cycle. This ruling has to be GOOD news for the Obama campaign.

    October 27, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  24. NF

    What a surprise – Republican officials purging valid records! Just another attempt to steal yet one more election! This time voters will not stand for it!

    October 27, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  25. skidog323

    Once again last minute Republican BS, why wasn't this done months ago?

    Anything to help McClueless win!

    And to help Chumpliss, as well! How old is he any way? Older than McClueless?

    October 27, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
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