Political Notes — Kemp agrees to restore purged voters

[private]Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who’s fighting a federal court lawsuit challenging the state’s procedure for canceling voter registrations, has agreed to suspend that procedure.

The move could potentially restore thousands of voters to the rolls in time to cast a ballot in the general election.

The NAACP, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda filed a federal lawsuit against Kemp two weeks ago in an attempt to have the cancellation procedure thrown out.

For years, voter registration applications have been cancelled by the state election office if just one digit or character in a single database field resulted in a mismatch, even if the other information on the registration form matched the information in state databases.

The civil rights groups challenging that procedure contend that it discriminated against black, Latino, and Asian citizens who wanted to register to vote.

Kemp has now agreed to suspend this procedure and will also restore to the voting rolls canceled registrations due to a mismatch dating back to Oct. 1, 2014.

The restoration of minority voters comes at a time when the percentages of non-white voters in Georgia’s most populous counties are growing.

In Gwinnett County, for example, the percentage of non-white registered voters now exceeds white voters by a margin of 50.2 percent to 49.8 percent, according to state registration data.

Here’s how the Metro Atlanta counties compare:

  • Fulton County: 541,236 registered voters; 41.6 percent white voters.
  • Gwinnett County: 406,706 registered voters; 49.8 percent white voters.
  • Cobb County: 402,914 registered voters; 61.6 percent white voters.
  • DeKalb County: 396,770 registered voters; 34.1 percent white voters.
  • Cherokee County: 133,067 registered voters; 82.3 percent white voters.
  • Henry County: 119,567 registered voters; 46.4 percent white voters.
  • Clayton County: 119,339 registered voters; 13.5 percent white voters.
  • Forsyth County: 114,281 registered voters; 73.5 percent white voters.
  • Hall County: 83,698 registered voters; 76.6 percent white voters.
  • Coweta County: 73,590 registered voters; 73.3 percent white voters.
  • Douglas County: 70,357 registered voters; 46.1 percent white voters.
  • Fayette County: 68,506 registered voters; 64.9 percent white voters.
  • Rockdale County: 47,697 registered voters; 37.3 percent white voters.

DECAL honors pre-K teachers

The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) and the Naserian Foundation have named two educators as Georgia’s Pre-K Program Teachers of the Year for 2016-2017:  Connie Ellington of Bethlehem Elementary School in Barrow County and Channie Frazier of Kids World Learning Center in Statesboro/Bulloch County.

DECAL named one teacher from a public school system and one from a private child care center to represent the public-private partnership through which the Pre-K program is offered.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Brian Kemp , civil rights groups , DECAL , federal lawsuit , minority voters , voter registration procedure