October 27th, 2008
08:23 PM ET
11 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. Tony, Miami

    How low can the republicans go?

    October 27, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  2. mart

    Did she read the court's ruling? How does the ruling reinforce her myopic view and voter suppresssion? These republicans will not stop lying. One was convicted today. How can you claim to pro-american if you stand against basic american rights a) to vote b) for the truth......?

    October 27, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  3. Paul

    Sorry Republicans, but the people get to vote this year.

    October 27, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  4. Paul from FL


    October 27, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  5. independent 2008

    Rethuglicans again trying to steal the election.
    We need to crush the wingnuts in a landslide.
    Obama/Biden 08

    October 27, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. Lance

    I'm glad the American people are fighting back against GOP election suppression.

    Only if we're aware will we actually win. When we're paying attention, we all win.

    October 27, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  7. pam Eugene OR

    Just to took a break tonight and tuned into FAUX (FOX) News. I heard O'Riley talking about Obama blurbing a book.
    OMG Republicans...is that all you have left!
    It is over for at least 4 more years. Take Stevens and Palin and hope you can out run the guilty verdicts.
    BYE BYE Republican and don't let the door hit you on the way our!

    October 27, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  8. Amy

    Great news! No one deserves to be disenfranchised due to database issues. Now go out and exercise your right to vote GA!

    October 27, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  9. ahk, beverly hills, ca

    Attempted purges, meant to manipulate election results, are nothing new. What does seem to have changed, thankfully, is people deciding they will not take the situation lying down.

    October 27, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  10. Gabe Louisiana

    Thank you judges for ruling the way you did because I believe everybody should have the right to vote, either republican or Dems.

    October 27, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  11. jm from sc

    I hope all other states follow suit and not allow any voter suppression this year. I think all of the accusations being made by republicans is just an attempt to justify all the fake claims of irregulations planned when Obama wins.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 27, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  12. taylor

    Power to the people..LONDON. CAN.

    October 27, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |



    OBAMA 08

    October 27, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  14. Informed Voter in FL

    Democracy in Action .........

    Hope GA is Blue in 08!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 27, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  15. annie - never again a dem.

    Did the $832,000 that obama's campaign gave to acorn help with all this voter fraud – OH YES – did dem. government perpetuate it – OH YES

    October 27, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  16. Jack

    The wolves have started their hunt to cause havoc and try and deny the voters due process by law. You know Handel knows that they can't purge 90 days before a vote and she did it anyway. This is a true attempt at subversion; completely contrary to American law, truly an anti-American act that borders on terrorism. By the way Handel won't be the only one trying to do this or something similarly anti-American.

    October 27, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  17. Republican that voted for Obama/Biden TEXAS

    Truth – the American way.

    October 27, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  18. carlos

    Not this time,we cannot let them steal another election...

    October 27, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  19. annie - never again a dem.

    GA let's illegals vote and Virginia throws out ballots of our military men and women stationed overseas! Does this not seem right somehow?

    October 27, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  20. Sally from Cali

    it's bad news all the way around for the Republicans: judges rule against every attempt to block voters, a convicted, corrupt Senator, troopergate, $150,000 project runway, and Sarah Palin. Is there a lesson in all this?

    October 27, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  21. Susan SK

    Karen Handel has her eyes on the governor's mansion here in Georgia. Instead of purging the rolls, she should be working on getting us a paper trail to track those suspicious Diebold voting machines.

    October 27, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  22. Alan Zorthian

    Wow. The republicans know they can't win when everyone votes so they have been doing everything they can to exclude everyone they can.

    Thank God there are a few judges who believe in the constitution.

    October 27, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  23. Charlie Bradley

    GO GEORGIA!!!!!! COME ON EVERYONE HELP ME TO TURN GEORGIA BLUE..and I don't mean blue food coloring in our peaches!!!!!!!!


    October 27, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  24. Real Talk

    McCain's Lynch mob isn't as discrete as Karl Rove's was.

    October 27, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  25. Herman In LA


    October 27, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
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