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Press Release

Federal Court Demands Georgia Do Better With Provisional Ballot Counting Process

A federal court orders that Georgia officials take immediate steps to protect provisional ballots.

November 13, 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: Alex­an­dra Ringe; alex­an­, 646 925 8744

New York, N.Y. – A federal court in Atlanta on Monday issued an order requir­ing the state to take a number of steps to protect voters who had to cast provi­sional ballots because of regis­tra­tion prob­lems. For example, Geor­gia offi­cials must estab­lish a hotline and website for voters to check if their ballots were coun­ted; conduct a thor­ough review of provi­sional ballots; and provide detailed inform­a­tion about every provi­sional ballot cast in Tues­day’s elec­tion.

The order came at the request of Common Cause Geor­gia and its attor­neys at the Bren­nan Center for Justice at NYU Law and the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Whar­ton & Garrison LLP. In a lawsuit filed Monday night, Common Cause of Geor­gia alleged that Geor­gia Secret­ary of State Brian Kemp reck­lessly publi­cized vulner­ab­il­it­ies in the state’s voter regis­tra­tion data­base, which exacer­bated voters’ risk of having their regis­tra­tion inform­a­tion manip­u­lated.

“The right to vote is funda­mental, and no one should lose that right because of mistakes in the voter regis­tra­tion data­base. The Geor­gi­ans who voted in this elec­tion deserve better than what the state wanted to give them,” said Myrna Perez, deputy director of the Bren­nan Center’s demo­cracy program, who argued the case with Farrah Berse of Paul, Weiss on Thursday in Atlanta.

Accord­ing to the lawsuit filed Monday in the North­ern District of Geor­gia, multiple parties informed Secret­ary Kemp that the state’s voter inform­a­tion portal was vulner­able to meddling. Instead of taking steps to secure regis­tra­tion inform­a­tion, Kemp released a series of state­ments that only served to draw atten­tion to the secur­ity gaps.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for the voters of Geor­gia. We are all stronger when every eligible voter is allowed to parti­cip­ate in our elec­tions,” said Sara Hende­r­son, exec­ut­ive director of Common Cause Geor­gia. “This victory helps achieve greater voter confid­ence in our elec­tions.”

Docu­ments from the lawsuit are avail­able here.

For more inform­a­tion:

Common Cause Geor­gia

The Bren­nan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Whar­ton & Garrison LLP