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. Independent for Obama

    I truly believe the Republicans are trying to steal this election again

    October 27, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  2. Todd (Los Angeles, CA)

    What about the 30,000 voters in Colorado?

    October 27, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  3. Seth

    This won't be the only glitch come election day. I look for the voting machines to malfunction and the "chads" to fall thewrong way. Afterall, the Republicans have to come up on top somehow!
    OBAMA/BIDEN 08!

    October 27, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  4. Todd (Los Angeles, CA)

    Also can someone keep an eye on Diebold after the comments they made a while back about Ohio in 2004.

    October 27, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  5. R, Ohio

    Wonderful!! We cannot have a repeat of 2000 when Bush stole the election.

    October 27, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  6. SD Law

    Isn't Handel a lawyer? She's apparently not a very good one as she doesn't understand the law or the decision. She says "I'm grateful for the District Court panel's decision..." Well, too bad the decision doesn't allow the Secretary of State to be incarcerated. She says she's "grateful"; if she were locked up so she couldn't screw around with the election process, a lot more people would be "happy".

    October 27, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  7. railaobama

    Thats violation of Voters freedom exercise their democratic rights, let these legal voters vote.

    This election is historic and all legible voters should be allowed to help in write a new history, a new face of America.

    October 27, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  8. Bill

    Instead of trying to cheat in Georgia, the RNC and McCain campaign should focus on trying to actually win ARIZONA. McCrazy's home state is now a battle ground with polls showing Obama within 2 points.

    October 27, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  9. PAUL

    If you can't beat em....cheat! Thats the Republican way!

    October 27, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  10. Watching in NC

    Glad to see the courts are sticking up for the rights of voters ... if Georgia tries to appeal this to a higher court, then I really suspect the Republicans are resorting to attempts at affecting the election outcome by any means possible, particularly underhanded.

    October 27, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  11. railaobama

    Thats violation of Voters freedom exercise their democratic rights, let these legal voters vote.

    This election is historic and all legible voters should be allowed to help in write a new history, a new face of America.

    October 27, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  12. Cora

    Poor McCain, he'll never admit it, but the sly little woman got the best of him. He should have chosen a more solid running mate. She is and has been a big joke.

    October 27, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  13. Papasan in Arizona

    Palin goes off Reservation! Rouge VP! Is McCain crazy? Palin is the Republican Frankenstien! The last resort of the Failing McCain/Palin Campaign is to energize the base, Ignorant Right Wing Looneys! McCain followers are waking up from a long peaceful McBush slumber [voted 90 percent of the time with Bush], to find two pathetic morons, publicly displaying a cartoonish love affair with themselves, totally out of touch with Americans true issues [it's the ECONOMY!], and engaging in a revolting "McCain First" campaign! That's a tough wake up call, "MY FRIENDS"!
    McCain's first Executive decision is to unleash a Fascist Psychotic With The Racist Twinkle In Her Eye [Awaiting Alaska Criminal Indictment For Abusing Power] scampering around our Nation dangerously drumming up Hatred & Bigotry [Wink Wink]. The obvious erratic incompetence of the McCain/Palin campaign provides us evidence enough that they are unfit for any public office, let alone the White House. Americans face the hardest financial disaster in the History of the USA, this is the McCain Policy? John McCain / Sarah Palin have no idea what Americans trying to survive face. 401K plans gutted, Unemployment, Foreclosures, Wall Street in the Tank, Main Street hopelessly waiting for a bail out, and the Global Economy in disarray...
    McCain/Palin are a disgusting self serving disgrace undoubtedly proving they are not up to the complex task of keeping the Nation together in hard times. BTW: They can't even stay on the same page in their campaign!

    P.S. Acorn / Ayers / Rev. Wright / Socialism / Raise Taxes on 250K A Year Income, Joe the Plumber AKA Sam Not Really a Plumber these are not the real issues facing America!

    October 27, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  14. Bob Stephens

    The Republicans lose again. I tried to early vote in an Atlanta suburb in Gwinnett county today, and gave up after almost a 6 hour wait. This was definitely designed to discourage voters in this neighborhood where Obama is popular.

    October 27, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  15. Realistic

    Repubs will not like that ruling, or any other ruling that keeps them from committing their usual election fraud.

    October 27, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  16. S. Boatman

    This Is The Same Thing The Republicans Are Trying To Do In Ohio And Other Places! Its Not Going To Happen This Time! Some Of Those Red States Are Going To Turn Blue!

    October 27, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  17. MikeH

    The Republican campaign to suppress the democratic vote is collapsing in flames, it seems.

    Good pre-emptive legal action by Obama's people.

    The Republican (Bush) plan to use the federal prosecuters to suppress the vote has likewise fallen apart.

    Senator Stevens is found guilty to boot.

    This is a perfect storm on the Republicans.

    Serves them right.

    October 27, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  18. vote! OBAMA-BIDEN NOV.4th

    GOOD FOR YOU GEORGIA, NOW GO OUT AND VOTE FOR THE CHANGE WE ALL SO DESPERATLY NEED, VOTE OBAMA-BIDEN!

    October 27, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  19. Republican for Obama - TX

    I am very happy the republican trick didn't work. My own family voted on October 20th for Obama/Biden!!!

    October 27, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  20. red, yellow, black and white

    Yipee~~~~~~

    October 27, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  21. Flo

    Justice prevails.....................If Georgia is going to turn blue we need every vote.

    Re: Stevens "I'm Innocent" I'm glad, he'll fit right in the slammer; that is where all the innocent crooks belong. Palin will have to face her own ethics scandal sooner or later.

    October 27, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  22. Aaron in Atlanta

    Thank God for early voting, this would have been a tragic if this were November 4th. What is the deal with these Republicans and their tactics to stay in office by suppressing voters and then raise hell about Acorn's registration? Duh! You can't vote without ID anyway so if Mickey Mouse registers unless he has ID he can't vote!!! WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! Did anyone see Bill Maher and the guy who wrote how to rig an election????

    October 27, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  23. Matt

    :)

    October 27, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  24. DanFango

    How bizarre for Handel to claim the judgement reinforces Georgia's registration verification process, when the court in fact ruled that it violated the Voting Rights Act. Typical twisted Republican "logic"

    The good news is it looks like she won't appeal it

    October 27, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  25. Texas Trail Kitty

    Hah! The Rethuglican are foiled again.

    October 27, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10