Georgia’s top election official says he has changed a policy that a recent lawsuit said prevented tens of thousands of residents from registering to vote and violated the Voting Rights Act. The lawsuit filed in federal court this month said a policy implemented in 2010 rejects people who apply to register to vote if identifying information on their applications doesn’t exactly match information in databases maintained by the Georgia Department of Driver Services or the Social Security Administration. A letter filed on Friday by attorneys representing Secretary of State Brian Kemp said the office has stopped marking people as ineligible to vote if their names don’t exactly match other government databases and won’t resume the practice without a court decision.
The letter to U.S. District Court Senior Judge William O’Kelley also said that people rejected using that process since 2015 can cast regular ballots in November with appropriate identification.
A spokeswoman for Kemp and a spokesman for Attorney General Sam Olens, whose office is representing Kemp, confirmed the letter on Monday.
Under the Georgia policy, a mismatch triggers a letter notifying the applicant of the problem. If the applicant doesn’t respond within 40 days, the application is automatically canceled.