National News

Federal lawsuit challenges fairness of Georgia's elections

Posted November 27, 2018 3:47 p.m. EST

ATLANTA -- A federal lawsuit backed by former Democratic candidate for governor Stacey Abrams will attempt to overhaul the state's elections, alleging "gross mismanagement" after Georgians suffered long lines, uncounted ballots and purged registrations during this month's vote.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday by a new group called Fair Fight Action, asks a judge to intervene to protect voting rights.

Abrams, who lost to Republican Brian Kemp in the race for governor, isn't trying to change the result of the election.

But Abrams has said the election wasn't fair because it limited voting access, disenfranchised minorities and undermined the public's trust in democracy. She has said Kemp, who resigned his position as secretary of state after Election Day, was responsible.

"The voters and the citizens of Georgia deserve an election they can have confidence in," said Lauren Groh-Wargo, CEO of Fair Fight Action and Abrams' campaign manager. "We're going to seek to fix the system."

Kemp supporters have argued that local election officials run voting in counties, not the Secretary of State's Office. Many of the problems cited on election day were the responsibility of local officials, they say.

The lawsuit will ask for Georgia's government to use paper ballots to validate the accuracy of elections, stop canceling voter registrations because they haven't participated in a recent election, train local election officials and prevent the state's "exact match" voter registration law from harming legitimate voters.

Fair Fight Action said thousands of voters were discouraged from casting ballots during the election.

Some voters were denied ballots because their registrations had been canceled, they said. Others endured long lines and glitchy voting machines. Many had to travel longer distances to their polling places because 214 precincts closed across the state since 2012.

Voters also reported that their mailed absentee ballots were never counted, they said, or that their provisional ballots were discarded because they weren't validated within the state's three-day deadline.

Story Filed By Cox Newspapers

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