Controversies over voting rights have become the center of attention in Georgia’s race for governor. Issues with voter’s ballots being thrown out for signature mismatch have resulted in a series of federal lawsuits that demand last minute voting changes.
This past week, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Judge Leigh Martin May, issued an order to Georgia election officials to put a halt to rejecting absentee ballots due to alleged signature mismatch. Via CNN data reports, 157 absentee ballots have been rejected due to signature mismatch. Absentee ballots being submitted have been thrown out without giving the voter an opportunity to fix the issue. Prior to this issue, 53,000 voter registrations had also been placed on hold. This resulted in thousands of Georgia citizens not being able to vote because of the deadlines being missed without the issue being resolved.
“Having created an absentee voter regime through which qualified voters can exercise their fundamental right to vote, the state must now provide absentee voters with constitutionally adequate due process protection,” said Judge May in response to the issue.
A political science professor at the University of Florida was able to analyze some of the rejected ballots and came to the conclusion that ballots casted by Asian Americans and African Americans were rejected at a higher rate than those submitted by whites.
The atmosphere surrounding this call to order is centered around the accusation that Republican Party nominee for Georgia governor, Brian Kemp, has been a part of some of the voting controversy.
Stacy Abrams, Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia accused Kemp of developing
“an atmosphere of fear around the right to vote in the state of Georgia.”
Voters in Georgia have been on edge about the integrity of the voting system and are now in the middle of this debate. May’s response to this controversy hopes to put a stop to the improper rejecting of absentee ballots.
Judge May believes that the voter should be notified of the signature mismatch, and instead of throwing the ballot out, it should then be considered a provisional ballot. Brian Kemp, who is currently serves as Secretary of State, has filed a motion to stop absentee voter injunction proposed by Judge May.