Common Cause Urges Georgia Voters Not To Be Deterred By Election Day Problems

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  • Dale Eisman

Georgians are getting a painful lesson in what happens when state leaders fall down on the job of running a free and fair election. Common Cause said today.

“The problems besetting Georgia voters, from registrations that have been left off the voter rolls to a website breakdown that is keeping voters from verifying their eligibility and their voting locations, were foreseeable and preventable,” said Common Cause President Miles Rapoport. “The state’s failure to anticipate and head them off is inexcusable.

“The good news is that most Georgians are pressing ahead with voting despite these problems. Volunteers answering the phones on Election Protection’s 866-OUR-VOTE hotline are hearing from people across the state who want help in finding their precincts and verifying their eligibility. We encourage any Georgian with these questions or other concerns about the voting process to call the hotline and get help.”

Today’s problems in Georgia highlight the need for every state to act on the recommendations of President Obama’s Commission on Election Administration. “Did We Fix That,” a Common Cause study released last week, found that while some states have made progress toward eliminating the long lines and other problems that plagued the 2012 election, much more remains to be done.

Georgia’s election administration got mixed marks in the Common Cause study. The state was praised for implementing online voter registration, though today’s experience highlights the importance of ensuring that registrations are processed and names added to the voter rolls quickly. But Georgia has failed to establish voting centers where voters from multiple precincts can cast their ballots at a single, central location. Such centers would have facilitated voting today by citizens unable to verify their precinct location.

“We urge Georgia officials to move ahead on all the improvements recommended by the President’s Commission,” Rapoport said, “and to take other voter-friendly steps including permitting voters to register at the polls on Election Day and during early voting periods.”