Monday, May 8, 2017

Georgia Can’t Block New Voters From Registering in the Ossoff-Handel Runoff | The Nation

Georgia Can’t Block New Voters From Registering in the Ossoff-Handel Runoff | The Nation

n March 22, 2017, Jill Boyd Myers moved from Atlanta to Sandy Springs, Georgia, relocating from the Fifth Congressional District to the Sixth. She wanted to vote in the special election to replace Congressman Tom Price, Donald Trump’s secretary for health and human services, but she was unable to because Georgia’s registration deadline of March 20 for both the April 18 open primary and the June 20 runoff between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel had already passed.

That meant nobody who registered after March 20—90 days before the runoff election—could vote in the hotly contested Ossoff-Handel race. Registration had effectively been frozen in the Sixth Congressional District.

But a federal court granted a preliminary injunction yesterday against the state’s 90-day registration cutoff, finding it violates the National Voter Registration Act, which prohibits setting voter-registration deadlines more than 30 days before an election. Civil-rights groups, led by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, filed suit against the law. “If a preliminary injunction is not granted requiring Defendants to process voter-registration applications received after the previous deadline of March 20, numerous voters who would otherwise be eligible to vote in the runoff will be denied that right,” wrote District Court Judge Timothy Batten, a George W. Bush appointee.

  

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