For immediate release: October 4, 2022 Press contact: Dorrie Toney, [email protected]
ATLANTA —The ACLU of Georgia commends the Gwinnett County Board of Elections for its decision to dismiss several hundred voter challenges filed in late August. The Board made the decision in a 3-2 vote on Monday. We agree with the decision to reject these baseless challenges and see it as a model for other counties to follow in complying with state and federal laws.
Last week, the ACLU of Georgia sent a letter to the Board, urging it to dismiss the challenges. The letter stated that further investigating and sustaining the challenges was illegal because they failed to meet the burden of proof set forth by state law and because federal law bars non-individualized, systematic removals within 90 days of an election. We applaud the Gwinnett Board’s commitment to ensuring the security and accuracy of our voter rolls.
“Gwinnett County’s decision to reject these baseless mass voter challenges is a recognition of its obligations under federal and state law,” said Rahul Garabadu, ACLU of Georgia senior voting rights staff attorney. “County elections officials across the state should take note of this decision, and should reject similar mass challenges that are filed before Election Day.”
Based on unreliable information, these mass challenges risk disenfranchising eligible voters. Additionally, as noted by ACLU of Georgia’s Deputy Policy and Advocacy Director Vasu Abhiraman, they are undeniably burdensome on busy county elections officials charged with responding to challenges quickly.
“We commend the Gwinnett County Board of Registration and Elections for following the law and dismissing the mass voter challenge that was taking up far too much of its time,” said Abhiraman. “With just five weeks until Election Day, and two weeks until early voting begins, local elections officials should be devoting their precious resources to ensuring voters can register, access the ballot, and have their ballots counted. These mass voter challenges are designed to disenfranchise, and we will continue to demand they be swiftly dismissed under the law.”
The challenges at issue aimed to disqualify voters from casting ballots in the November election. We saw these challenges for what they were—another illegal attempt by third-party groups wanting to circumvent the processes that protect the accuracy of voter rolls.
The ACLU of Georgia will continue to actively monitor and challenge these unlawful actions in order to protect the right to vote for all eligible Georgians.