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April 19--  Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp today condemned the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the ACORN-affiliated Project Vote organization for coordinating efforts behind a lawsuit that challenged the state’s compliance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). The plaintiffs included the Georgia State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda, which were represented by Project Vote, among others.

The Georgia Secretary of State has always remained compliant with the NVRA’s requirement that each state’s chief election official coordinate the implementation of the NVRA.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit alleged that the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) failed to offer a voter registration application with all applications, recertifications and renewals for assistance and with all change of address forms as mandated by the NVRA. The NVRA requires plaintiffs to give notice of alleged violations to Secretaries of State at least 90 days before filing a complaint so the agency can review its procedures and the procedures of other state agencies and correct them if required. Though the plaintiffs failed to provide specific information about the alleged violations, United States District Court Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr. denied a motion by the state to dismiss the lawsuit.

The DOJ filed a “statement of interest” in the case, indicating that the agency agreed with the plaintiffs’ position. Interestingly, documents show that the DOJ has recently coordinated similar lawsuits with Project Vote in Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Louisiana.

Secretary Kemp stated, “The U.S. Department of Justice and left-wing interest groups are conducting a full frontal assault on the rights of states to manage their elections processes in a fair and secure manner, including registration, verification of citizenship and fraud protection. Georgians can be assured that we will continue to fight any attempt by this reckless administration to interfere with our election rights.

“The court’s decision to ignore the NVRA’s notice requirements and expand the scope of the law will cost Georgia taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to comply with outdated and unneeded federal voter registration mandates and in attorney’s fees paid to venue-shopping interest groups. Despite allegations of widespread violations by DHS, it is apparent that this was not a lawsuit aimed at promoting increased voter registration as seen by the more than 5.8 million registered voters in the state as of April 1st.

“The provisions of the NVRA at issue in this lawsuit are clearly being misconstrued by federal courts, as evidenced by this court’s actions and the decision this week by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that Arizona’s proof of citizenship requirement to register to vote violates the NVRA. Based on these decisions, it is clear that Congress should immediately reexamine and clarify the NVRA so states are no longer required to duplicate voter registration efforts, and allow states to ensure that only U.S. citizens can register to vote.”