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Lawsuit Ends Georgia's Onerous Voter Registration Rules

Georgia will have to do away with its exact-match voter registration verification scheme thanks to a lawsuit filed last year by voting rights advocacy groups. The program resulted in the disenfranchisement of some 42,000 people, disproportionately people of color -- but now it's being considered by other states including Florida, Virginia and West Virginia.

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A student voter registration effort in Georgia, where a legal settlement has ended that state's onerous exact-match system that resulted in the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of would-be voters, disproportionately people of color., The Bent Tree via Flickr

Date on which a legal settlement was announced that will end Georgia's controversial "exact match" voter registration verification scheme:

Number of mismatches the scheme permitted between all letters and numbers in the registration applicant's name, date of birth, driver's license and last four Social Security digits on the one hand and the information in the state's Department of Drivers Service or Social Security Administration databases on the other: 0

Number of days the applicant had to correct the mismatch before the registration application was automatically rejected, even if it was a data entry error or involved something as minor as a missing accent mark: 40

Details about the cause of the mismatch included in the letter sent notifying registrants of the problem, making it difficult to resolve: 0

Year in which the program went into effect: 2010

Number of Georgia citizens who've been disenfranchised as a result: more than 42,000

Month in which a coalition of voting rights advocacy groups sued over Georgia's program, charging that it violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the First and 14th Amendments to the Constitution: 9/2016

Of the almost 35,000 people whose applications were cancelled as a result of the policy between July 2013 and July 15, 2016, percent who identified as white: 13.6

As Asian-American: 4.8

As Latino: 7.9

As Black: 63.6

Overall, percent of those whose applications were not processed as a result of the exact-match scheme who were non-white, in part because they have names more likely to lead to discrepancies: over 86

Number of other states that are currently considering similar exact match voter registration systems: 5*

* Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia

(Click on figure to go to source.)