October 24, 2018

ATLANTA — A judge has issued a temporary restraining order blocking election officials in Georgia from throwing out absentee ballots or applications for a supposed signature mismatch without giving the voter an opportunity to contest the determination and confirm their identity.

The ruling stems from an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against Secretary of State Brian Kemp and county registrars.

At issue is a state law that allows election officials — who have no handwriting-analysis expertise — to reject an absentee ballot if they think there is a signature mismatch in the voter’s paperwork, without giving prior notice to the voter or an opportunity to contest that determination.

Sophia Lakin, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, had this reaction to today’s ruling:

“This ruling protects the people of Georgia from those who seek to undermine their right to vote. It’s a huge victory, especially with the midterms just days away.”

The ruling is at: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/order-granting-temporary-restraining-order

More information is at: https://www.aclu.org/cases/georgia-muslim-voter-project-v-kemp

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