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National Civil Rights Group Responds

Washington, DC (March 14, 2020)–Today Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger issued a statement announcing the decision to postpone the March 24 presidential primary election. The election will now be conducted on May 19, 2020.  At least 279,000 voters in Georgia cast ballots during two weeks of early voting.  Officials indicate that the decision was made in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which has mounted numerous cases to protect voting rights in Georgia, issued the following statement in response:

“Our chief concern is ensuing that no voter is disenfranchised and that there are no administrative errors that result from this highly unusual decision,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “The state will need to be on top of the challenges that will inevitably result from this decision, particularly given that many voters have already cast ballots during early voting that will be counted. There will most certainly be challenges that result in the implementation of this dual phase approach.”

Clarke continued: “This decision comes on the heels of extensive litigation against the state of Georgia over purging of the voter rolls, failure to process voter registration forms, the mass disqualification of absentee ballots and more. New, upgraded voting machines are also being used for the first time this election cycle. The state will need to take extraordinary steps to publicize this new election date, provide adequate notice to voters about the process, and ensure that no voter who has already cast a ballot for the presidential primary is disenfranchised.”