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In response to the Trump Administration Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia last week filed an open records request for all communications between Georgia Secretary of State Brian P. Kemp’s office and the Trump administration related to voting and the elections commission.

To verify that Kemp is not sending confidential, personal identifying information – such as Social Security numbers – the ACLU of Georgia also requested a copy of any information that his office sends to the Trump administration. As well, the ACLU of Georgia’s request also asks Kemp to provide the same information that the Justice Department has requested related to Georgia’s purge procedures.

“Georgia deserves better than a bogus solution to an invented problem,” said Nse Ufot, executive director of the New Georgia Project. “This is a time when we should encourage greater voter participation, not deceive and deter. Our work continues and we march on, advocating for Georgians’ voting rights.”

Joined by the New Georgia Project, Common Cause Georgia, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta, the Georgia NAACP and the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, the ACLU of Georgia held a press conference last week at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta to announce what actions the coalition would take “to combat the Trump administration’s unprecedented attack on voting rights and promote greater voter participation.”

“Taken together, the Trump administration’s actions represent the gravest threat to voting rights in more than 50 years,” said ACLU of Georgia Executive Director Andrea Young. “We’re fighting back to protect access to the ballot and ensure Georgia state officials are not complicit in Trump’s dangerous voter suppression scheme.”

Last week, the vice chair of President Trump’s election commission Kris Kobach sent letters to all 50 states requesting a list of all registered voters, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, their addresses, dates of birth, political affiliation, and their voting history.  The same day, the U.S. Justice Department sent a separate letter asking for Georgia’s voter purge procedures.

“Given Secretary Kemp’s own record of putting up barriers to the ballot box, his willingness to go along with this charade should concern everyone who cares about the strength of our democracy and the fairness of our elections,” Young said.  “Georgia voters deserve to know the full extent of state officials’ collusion with the Trump administration’s voter suppression scheme – so that we can hold these officials accountable for their actions, and protect access to the ballot.”

In addition to the open records requests filed, the ACLU of Georgia will mobilize its supporters to advocate for reforms to make it easier for eligible voters to vote, and “promote free and fair elections.” Specifically, the organization is calling for: “An end to the practice of removing voters from the rolls based on the absurd and arbitrary assumption that any voter who does not vote in a three-year period must have moved; non-partisan redistricting so that voters choose their elected officials, not the other way around; and same-day registration, so that Georgia voters have the option of registering to vote and casting their ballot on the same day.

“Georgians understand that this is a scare tactic threatening our fundamental rights,” said Rev. Raphael Warnock, board chair of the New Georgia Project and senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church. “Now more than ever, we must be careful as commissions and bad information can cheapen and undermine our democracy. We must protect our sacred right to vote.”

 

 

ACLU files voting and elections commission open records request was originally published on atlantadailyworld.com

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