Georgia advocacy groups kick off National Voter Registration Day

More than a dozen advocacy groups gathered Tuesday at the Georgia Capitol to kick off a day-long registration drive as part of National Voter Registration Day.

Georgian face a state deadline of Oct. 6 to register before the Nov. 4 general election, which features hotly contested races for governor as well as a U.S. Senate seat.

“We want to make sure our people understand that voting is fundamental to democracy,” said Helen Butler, executive director of the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, which was joined by groups at the event including the Georgia NAACP, the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials and the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center of Georgia.

The push comes on the heels of an investigation by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp into alleged voter registration fraud by some workers of a Democratic-backed group. Aides to Kemp, a Republican, told lawmakers Monday the ongoing inquiry has confirmed 30 cases of forged voter registration applications from among 13 counties.

The investigation has been derided by civil rights and religious leaders as a partisan attempt at voter intimidation, given that the group — the New Georgia Project — has turned in more than 85,000 registration applications. National experts say it is not unusual to have some problematic forms and that fraud most often is the work of individuals.