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Georgia Fails Voters on Critical Election Day

November 4, 2014

Georgia Fails Voters on Critical Election Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Stacie B. Royster, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law                                      
(202) 662-8317; sroyster@lawyerscommittee.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 4, 2014 -- From the time the polls opened this morning in Georgia, Election Protection started to hear exactly the kinds of problems that the New Georgia Project and the NAACP were trying to prevent when they brought a lawsuit earlier this year.

Eligible voters who submitted registration applications months ago today have been unable to determine whether or not they can cast a regular ballot, and they may be left with no choice but to cast provisional ballots, most of which are unlikely to be counted. 

To make problems even worse, the Secretary of State’s website that voters rely upon to verify their registration status and find their polling place has been down for most of the morning. It appears that some counties’ phone lines are overwhelmed and we have received reports that voters have not been able to reach their board of elections.

Election Protection is actively working on the ground in Georgia to assist voters who are experiencing problems, and we’re continuing to track these and many other issues that we’re learning about through Election Protection’s 866-OUR-VOTE hotline.

Any voter with questions about their voter registration status or experiencing problems at the polls should call the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline for assistance. We encourage voters having difficulties casting a ballot to keep trying and know that Election Protection is ready to help. It is important that every voter’s voice is heard on Election Day.

"This is completely unacceptable, especially in light of the unprocessed registrations in major counties and voter concerns about participating in this critical election,” said Lawyers' Committee President and Executive Director Barbara Arnwine. “The state of Georgia had a responsibility to ensure that their website and phone resources were operational and available to voters at all times, yet the website continues to have ongoing problems.”

  

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Election Protection is the nation's largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, led by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Through its 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline (1-866-687-8683), smartphone application, www.866OurVote.org website, and dedicated team of legal experts and trained volunteers, Election Protection helps all American voters, including traditionally disenfranchised groups, gain access to the polls and overcome obstacles to voting, offering direct assistance. The coalition has more than 100 partners - including the NAACP, National Bar Association, Native Vote, Asian-American Justice Center, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund (NALEO), New Organizing Institute, Rock the Vote, the Hip Hop Caucus, Verified Voting Foundation, Advancement Project, National Education Association and the Brennan Center for Justice - at the national, state and local level and is providing voter protection services nationwide.