A federal judge ordered the state of Georgia today not to throw away more absentee ballots based on differences in application signatures, a measure that had been affecting minority groups a few weeks before the legislative elections and for governors.
In response to a lawsuit, Judge Leigh Martin May issued a temporary order that would allow voters to rebut the state’s decision and confirm his identity.
“Allowing absent voters to resolve an alleged discrepancy with their signature, they have the tangible benefit of avoiding depriving someone of the right to vote,” the judge said.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the organizations Georgia Muslim Voter Project and Asian Americans Advancing Justice, noted that the signature of a person can vary by various factors such as age, physical and mental condition, disability, medication or accidents, among others.
Organizations that advocate for the right to vote had denounced that the measure was based on subjective criteria and that it disproportionately affected people of color and minorities.
“This decision protects the people of Georgia from those who are trying to undermine their right to vote.” This is a great victory, especially with midterm elections only a few days away, “said Sophia Lakin, an attorney with the American Freedom Union. Civilians (ACLU).
According to the ACLU, so far more than 50,000 applications for voter registration would be contested in court.