On May 29, the U.S. Department of Justice objected to Georgia rules for voter registration that were passed in 2008. Georgia is one of the states that can’t change its election laws without approval by the Voting Rights Section of the Justice Department. The 2008 Georgia rules say that when someone registers to vote, the information on that registration form is matched against Social Security records, and Georgia drivers license records, and if any discrepancy is found, the voter registration is rejected.
The Justice Department letter says that by March 2009, the state had rejected 199,606 registration forms, and that a disproportinate number of the rejected forms are minority ethnic groups. The Justice Department letter cites evidence that the vast majority of rejected voter registration forms were rejected because a single digit was accidentally transposed in a drivers license number, or a Social Security number. See this news story, which contains a link to the Justice Department’s 6-page letter of disapproval. Thanks to Rick Hasen’s Election Law Blog for the link.
Note that this issue is separate from the 2009 Georgia law that requires newly-registering voters to submit documents proving that they are citizens. The process of obtaining Justice Department approval for that law lies in the future.