ATLANTA – The ACLU of Georgia urges the Baldwin County Registrar’s Office to comply with state and federal voter registration laws, stop requiring copies of photo identification to accompany every voter registration application, and remain open during regular business hours without exception.
ACLU of Georgia demands Baldwin County Registrar’s Office to Stop Blocking Voter Registration
Writing to the county’s Chief Deputy Registrar and the Secretary of State’s Office, the ACLU of Georgia stated that according to Georgia Shift, a civic engagement organization that registers young voters, the Registrar’s Office has 1) required that copies of photo identification accompany any voter registration application turned in by Georgia Shift; and 2) held irregular office hours that prevent Georgia Shift from turning in voter registration applications during regular business hours, such as closing the office from 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on one or more weekdays.
It is against state and federal law to require eligible voters to provide copies of photo identification to accompany any voter registration application. Unless otherwise exempt, first-time Georgia voters need only provide identification when they vote rather than at the time that they register to vote.
Additionally, the letter continued, holding irregular office hours that prevent organizations like Georgia Shift from turning in voter applications during regular business hours is a violation of state law. Georgia law specifically requires that “the office of the chief deputy registrar” be “accessible at all times during normal business hours.”
“Voter registration is the gateway to exercising the sacred, constitutional right to vote that belongs to every Georgian,” stated Sean J. Young, Legal Director of the ACLU of Georgia. “County officials are required to follow the law, and the Office of the Secretary of State is responsible for ensuring that they do.”