ColorOfChange.org has launched a petition demanding that the Department of Justice intervene to investigate the Georgia Secretary of State’s refusal to process some 40,000 voter registration forms. It is the largest online civil rights organization, boasting 900,000 members.
On Monday, October 28, 2014, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Christopher Brasher declined to intervene in a dispute over more than 56,000 voter registration applications. The NAACP, Georgia NAACP, and the voter advocacy group New Georgia Project, had sued Secretary Kemp claiming that he was not processing the applications quickly enough. The election is on November 4th. The plaintiffs say it could mean that thousands of votes won’t count because their names have not shown up on voter rolls. Brasher said the groups failed to prove that Kemp had broken the law.
In response to the Georgia court’s decision, Rashad Robinson, executive director of ColorOfChange.org, issued the following statement. “Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s refusal to process 40,000 voter registration forms from would-be first-time voters from already underrepresented Black, Latino and Asian communities is an unacceptable dereliction of duty from the state’s top election official. This racially-targeted assault on the freedom to vote in Georgia communities of color betrays his core responsibility as the steward of democracy in his state.
Robinson goes on to say, “Attorney General Eric Holder has been a fierce defender of voting rights. After the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act last June, Holder vowed to use any legal tool available to fight against attacks on voting freedom across the country. As his term comes to an end, 40,000 voters in Georgia need his strong leadership to protect their freedom to vote from manipulative right-wing tactics.”
According to ColorOfChange.org’s Aimee Castenell, they already have more than 20,000 signatures on the petition. She says they will deliver all of the signatures to Attorney General Holder after the election. She says that people, from around the country, have taken well to their petitions on the voter situation in Georgia. According to Castenell, “In our first petition to the Georgia Secretary of State, we presented him with 33,000 signatures of people, from across the country, a lot from the State of Georgia, who were deeply deeply disturbed about what’s happening.” Castenell adding that, “everybody who is registered to vote should vote on November 4th.”
Robinson says, “Polls show that Georgia’s U.S. Senate election is in a dead heat this year and could possibly determine the control of the U.S. Senate. Denying 40,000 folks of color the right to vote is a blatant attack on the voting process, preventing eligible citizens the opportunity to participate in this year’s election.