By Kate Brumback, Associated Press | Rome News-Tribune | April 8, 2020

ATLANTA — By requiring Georgia voters to provide their own stamps for mail-in ballots, the state is effectively imposing a poll tax that is an unconstitutional barrier to the right to vote, according to a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday.

Citing the continuing spread of the coronavirus, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger encouraged people to vote by mail in the May 19 primary election. Election officials are mailing a form that can be used to request an absentee ballot to all 6.9 million active registered voters. Voters can return the ballot application and the ballot by mail, avoiding an in-person trip to the polls and potential exposure to the virus.

The lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and its Georgia chapter on behalf of an individual voter and Black Votes Matter Fund, an organization that seeks to empower communities of color, asks a judge to order election officials to provide envelopes with prepaid postage to return mail-in ballots and ballot applications.

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