By Maria Boynton

Georgia State Representative Stacey Abrams says her organization, New Georgia Project, and others that filed a lawsuit against Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, “are deeply disappointed”. They are not pleased with Fulton County Superior Court Judge Christopher S. Brasher denying the writ of mandamus filed by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on behalf of Third Sector Development, the parent organization of the NGP, the national NAACP, and the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP against the Georgia Secretary of State and three county boards of election. The ruling on Tuesday came on the heels of Friday’s hearing in which the judge heard arguments to
require the Secretary of State and three county boards of election to promptly process voter registration applications submitted by eligible voters in time for them to cast a regular ballot in the midterm elections.

In his ruling, Judge Brasher said that the writ of mandamus was premature. But voter advocates say that urgency is essential. They point to the fact that early voting started two weeks ago for the November 4th election, and that with one week until Election Day, thousands of voter registration applicants are unaccounted for on the Secretary of State’s voter rolls.

Abrams says that Brasher’s decision, which “acknowledges the burdens placed on voters” does not “provide them with the relief of knowing that they will be permitted to vote in this election.” Secretary of State Kemp says the voters can cast Provisional ballots. Voter rights advocates call that, “an inadequate remedy that should disturb every Georgian who values the right to vote.” NGP says that it will continue to pursue all legal avenues available, “not only to serve the voters that we know may be silenced in this election, but to bring transparency and progress to those who wish to exercise their franchise in the future.”

V103/WAOK has reached out to Secretary of State Kemp’s Office several times for comments on this and other stories. We have not received a response.

(Credit: Jean Ross/CBS Local)

(Credit: Jean Ross/CBS Local)

Reverend Doctor Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church and a frequent spokesman for NGP, says “I am deeply troubled by the lack of responsiveness to real voters in the State of Georgia who are being denied the right to vote.” Warnock adds that with the passing of each day, “Georgia citizens are being denied their basic constitutional right, the right to vote, and that’s something that should concern every one of us regardless of political orientation.”

Warnock encourages voters to, “do everything that they can to vote, to insist that their vote counts.” He adds, “if you show up to the polls and people tell you there’s a problem, don’t let anybody turn you around. Insist on voting.” Warnock also encourages voting provisionally, if necessary. In the meantime, Warnock says, “we will be doing everything on our end to make sure that every Georgian has an opportunity to vote, and that every vote counts.”

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