A voter comes in to cast his ballot at an early vote location in DeKalb County Voter Registration & Elections Office on Tuesday, February 16, 2016. There have been 44 statewide Democratic primaries in Georgia since 1996 and 60 for Republicans. Among the former, DeKalb County Democrats have voted for the winner 42 times. Among the latter, Dawson County Republicans went for the winner 55 times. It's clear then: Any presidential candidate who wants to win in Georgia better win in the right place. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
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A voter comes in to cast his ballot at an early vote location in DeKalb County Voter Registration & Elections Office on Tuesday, February 16, 2016. There have been 44 statewide Democratic primaries in Georgia since 1996 and 60 for Republicans. Among the former, DeKalb County Democrats have voted for the winner 42 times. Among the latter, Dawson County Republicans went for the winner 55 times. It's clear then: Any presidential candidate who wants to win in Georgia better win in the right place. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

ACLU sues Georgia to re-open voter registration in storm-hit counties

A voter comes in to cast his ballot at an early vote location in DeKalb County Voter Registration & Elections Office on Tuesday, February 16, 2016. There have been 44 statewide Democratic primaries in Georgia since 1996 and 60 for Republicans. Among the former, DeKalb County Democrats have voted for the winner 42 times. Among the latter, Dawson County Republicans went for the winner 55 times. It's clear then: Any presidential candidate who wants to win in Georgia better win in the right place. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
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A voter comes in to cast his ballot at an early vote location in DeKalb County Voter Registration & Elections Office on Tuesday, February 16, 2016. There have been 44 statewide Democratic primaries in Georgia since 1996 and 60 for Republicans. Among the former, DeKalb County Democrats have voted for the winner 42 times. Among the latter, Dawson County Republicans went for the winner 55 times. It's clear then: Any presidential candidate who wants to win in Georgia better win in the right place. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Yet another group has filed suit against the state of Georgia demanding that voter registration be re-opened in counties where Hurricane Matthew forced evacuations and government closures.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit in federal court Monday.

“The state’s failure to extend the voter registration deadline, despite the massive disruptions caused by Hurricane Matthew, means that thousands of Georgians will be prevented from participating in the November election. This is unethical and illegal,” Kathleen Burch, interim counsel for the ACLU of Georgia, said in a statement.

The suit comes after a federal judge last week ordered Chatham County to re-open voter registration there through Tuesday.

The ACLU wants a judge to allow would-be voters to register in Chatham, Bryan, Camden, Glynn, Liberty, and McIntosh counties for six days.

“This is a nakedly political stunt to manipulate the system and squander state and county resources days before the election,” Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the state’s chief elections officer, said in a statement. “In a desperate, last-minute attempt at relevance, the ACLU is spoon-feeding the liberal media exactly what it wants and forcing their agenda on the American people.”

Kemp spokeswoman Candice Broce said his office was “paying close attention to the situation on the coast with Hurricane Matthew, but changing deadlines so close to the election is a bad idea and makes an orderly election more difficult.”

Kemp, who is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, along with Gov. Nathan Deal, urged coastal residents to register to vote ahead of the storm and touted the myriad ways Georgia allows voter registration.

Just last week, the ACLU and other groups successfully sued Florida to secure an extension of the voter registration deadline there. Both Florida and Georgia were hit hard by Hurricane Matthew, with mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders affecting millions.

In Georgia alone, four people died during Matthew and thousands evacuated from the coast.

 


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