ACLU warns of attempts at voter suppression ahead of midterm elections

ACLU warns of attempts at voter suppression ahead of midterm elections

Photo courtesy of the Brennan Center for Law and Justice at the New York University School of Law

WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union is warning of attempts at voter suppression in states where polls suggest the outcome of Senate and gubernatorial races will be close.

“It seems like folks have decided that precisely where elections are close they can get the most bang for their buck when it comes to trying to slice off a sliver of the electorate,” Dale Ho, ACLU’s voting rights director, said during a press call on Tuesday.

He added: “Whether it’s a new voter ID law that the Supreme Court has allowed to go into effect in North Dakota which rejects ID’s that lack a residential address much to the detriment of Native American voters…a Missouri ID law that had confusing affidavit language associated with it…a whole bevy of issues in Georgia-including an exact match system which has put over 50,000 voter registration applications on hold-to policies that have led to the rejection of hundreds of absentee ballots within the first few days of early voting [in Georgia].”

Last week the Associated Press reported that Georgia suspended 53,000 ballots due to concerns of voter fraud. Under the state’s exact-match, law the information displayed on a voter registration application must be identical to that displayed on a state-issued drivers license or a Social Security card.

If the information is not identical, the ballot is placed on hold and the interested party is notified by mail. The interested party must then submit further documentation to prove they are the person they claim to be. Failure to complete the process means the application is rejected.

Two weeks from today, Georgia voters will cast ballots in a contest whose outcome could result in the election of the nation’s first African-American female governor. Polls show a tight race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp.

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