The Georgia law that could suppress Democratic turnout in Jon Ossoff’s special election – Naomi Shavin Apr 21, 2017, 1:20pm EDT


A new lawsuit alleges that a Georgia voter registration law violates federal law.

Georgia won’t permit newly registered voters to participate in the June 20 runoff election for the state’s sixth Congressional district — a restriction that a new lawsuit argues is illegal.

The National Voter Registration Act requires that states allow eligible adults to register to vote at least 30 days before an election. In Georgia, voters can register at least 30 days before a primary. However, if people want to vote in the general election, they need to have registered before the primary.

For the June 20 special election, in other words, the registration window effectively closed March 20. That has big implications for a high-profile race to replace Tom Price, who became Trump’s secretary of health and human services. The sixth Congressional district has long been reliably Republican, but Democrat Jon Ossoff, backed by an outpouring of national support, got 48 percent of the vote in the primary Tuesday night. The result has made the district a prime target for a Democratic victory.

Democrats estimate that there are more than 800,000 unregistered, eligible voters in the state — mostly people of color. Before the midterm elections in 2014, the state was estimated to have about 664,000 more registered Republicans than registered Democrats.

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