Lawsuit against Muscogee Co. Board of Elections lawsuit claims registrations not processed

Lawsuit filed against the Muscogee County Board of Elections

(WTVM) - A lawsuit has been filed against the Muscogee County Board of Elections, claiming thousands of minority voter registrations were not processed.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp stopped in Columbus on Thursday to address the allegations.

The suit says the New Georgia Project submitted 86,000 applications from a statewide voter registration drive. Now, thousands of their names are missing from election boards across Georgia, and the group is taking legal action to find out what the hold up is.

"The lawsuit that was filed by Third Sector Development is frivolous and totally without merit," Kemp said.

Third Sector Development said around 86,000 minority voter applications were submitted through the New Georgia Project and NAACP between March and September. The group claims that nearly half of those who enrolled were not processed.

"We estimated more than 50,000 were not on the state's official registration list and we could not match to a pending list that the state had provided in mid September," said Julie Houk, Senior Special Council for Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Houk and a host of attorneys from Washington, D.C. are demanding the state explain why the applications are unaccounted for in Muscogee County and four other Georgia counties.

Kemp addressed the alleged missing applications in his press conference.

"Five hundred and thirteen records matched voters who were deceased," Kemp added. "1,637 records matched voters who were canceled because of felony status; 2,124 records had no valid year of birth, and 2,195 that had an invalid or out of state zip code"

The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights says despite repeated requests, these numbers have not been made available to them. Houk adds the group will continue working to ensure that eligible minorities are registered to vote in time for the upcoming election.

"Right now we are still seeing people who are not on a pending list, who are not on the state's registration list and have not received a voter registration card, or any explanation of what's happened to their applications," Houk said.

Kemp says the counties will reach out to those individuals who are pending. If you are notified, you will have up to 40 days to comply before your application is voided.

Kemp added that if your registration is incomplete and you go to vote, you will be given a provisional ballot and given up to three days to clear up the pending situation.

The case will be heard in Fulton County Superior Court on Oct. 24.

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