ACLU sues Fulton County over notice sent to registered voters

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ACLU sues Fulton County over notice sent to registered voters

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Jujuan Odom, 23, votes at a voting station at the Southwest Branch Library in Atlanta on March 21. (DAVID BARNES / DAVID.BARNES@AJC.COM)

The ACLU of Georgia filed a lawsuit Friday against Fulton County over address confirmation notices that went out to thousands of registered voters across the county. 

The notice says a voter will be declared “inactive” if they don’t respond within 30 days.

The notices are part of Georgia’s biennial effort to clean up the state’s voter rolls, and overall went out to more than 383,480 voters across the state.

They are generated every other year after the state compares the list of people who submitted a change of address form to the U.S. Postal Service with the state’s overall list of registered voters.

Fulton County officials have said they did nothing wrong by sending the notices, which are supplied by the state but mailed by local counties.

The ACLU has taken no issue to the mailer going to people who have moved outside their county, either to somewhere else in Georgia or to another state. 

But it says voters who move within the same county should not face the possibility of being declared “inactive” because state law doesn’t mandate such an action for that particular group of voters. The ACLU said it believes it also goes beyond what’s federally allowed. 

The suit was filed in Fulton County Superior Court on behalf of Stacey Hopkins, a Fulton voter who moved within the county and received the notice. 

It asks a judge to make the county automatically update the addresses of voters such as Hopkins as well as send out a different notice allowing voters who moved “intra-county” to verify or correct their current address without any consequences if they do not respond. 

In Georgia, so-called “inactive” voters are still legally registered to vote in Georgia, have full access to the ballot and can vote as usual.

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