An elections bill up for consideration in the state House Wednesday has raised the ire of voter advocacy groups, who say it could disproportionately hurt minority Georgians trying to join the state’s voter rolls. House Bill 268, which is scheduled to be considered by the state House, would create a 26-month deadline for voting applicants to correct discrepancies in what they submit to the state when they register. It is being opposed by the same groups who sued Secretary of State Brian Kemp last year, alleging the system disenfranchised minority voters because the requirement blocked tens of thousands of them from voter rolls. That suit was settled two weeks ago.
“We just think it’s really outrageous the state would try to codify a practice that’s known to be discriminatory,” said Michelle Kanter Cohen, the election counsel for the Washington-based nonprofit Project Vote, a national group involved with the lawsuit. “We keep going back to the idea that a person’s fundamental right to vote should not be dependent on typos and bureaucratic mistakes.”
… The advocacy groups have also taken issue with other provisions in Fleming’s bill. One would no longer allow Georgians to use federal tribal identification cards as a valid form of identification to prove citizenship when registering.
Another would set new limits on where groups could set up voter information or assistance tables, saying they must be at least 25 feet from any voter standing in line to vote and at least 150 feet from the polling location itself.