Home / Others / The prosecution of Stacey Abrams against Georgia's broken electoral system is so clever.

The prosecution of Stacey Abrams against Georgia's broken electoral system is so clever.



Stacey Abrams speaks to fans at an election watch party on November 6th in Atlanta.

Stacey Abrams speaks to fans at an election watch party on November 6th in Atlanta.

Jessica McGowan / Getty Images

Democratic Democrat Democrat Stacey Abrams and her allies are tackling Georgia's poor electoral system as it should be: through an ambitious and bold legal process. At the very least, the lawsuit will highlight the fact that Georgia makes it much more difficult than many other states to register and vote successfully. If the prosecution achieves its more ambitious goals, a court could hand over the Georgian electoral system under federal supervision for up to 10 years.

Rather than seeing how a typical election lawsuit focuses on a problematic aspect of the Georgian electoral process – such as excessive voter purges or its poor election mechanisms – the prosecution argues an argument that the government of the Republic of El Salvador is not in favor of the electoral process. Cumulative effect of the Georgian system is to deny voters, especially voters. of color, the opportunity to easily file a ballot that will be counted accurately and accurately.

The lawsuit attacks the strict electoral purges, which according to the lawsuit were timed with the elections of the former secretary of state and now of the elected governor, Brian Kemp; its strict policy of "exact match", which prevented thousands of voters from signing up, due to discrepancies in voting forms, and from minor driving records as well as a line d & # 39; Missing union; its voter registration database and its outdated voting mechanisms, which are not secure, vulnerable to hacking and lack paper-based backup files; its closure and its removal of the polling stations; his voter registration lists inaccurate; his insufficient control over the voting of provisional ballots; and its problems with the mailing, processing and recounting of ballots by mail – including the fact that the state does not notify voters of problems with their ballots that could have been resolved in time for the vote is counted.

The lawsuit alleges that these problems together constitute a violation of the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and the due process and equal protection provisions of the Act. .th Amendment. Although all of these claims do not require proof of willful racial discrimination in the vote, if the plaintiffs succeed in proving intentional discrimination, a court will have the discretion to place Georgia under federal "preclearance" for changes to the voting rules that were in place before. the US Supreme Court killed the preclearance system in its 2013 Shelby County c. Holder decision.

It is difficult to say how successful this pursuit will be. Some of the constitutional claims require evidence of intentional racial discrimination in the vote, which can be difficult to produce even when the voting rules seem to target colored voters. Prosecutions under section 2 of the "refusal to vote" law have had mixed success, and there is good reason to expect that the Supreme Court will continue to more aggressive uses of the voting rights law.

But we know that other lawsuits against elements of the Georgian system have been successful, such as the attack on certain voting rules by correspondence and the exact matching system. A federal court also strongly suggested concluding that Georgia's voter registration system was so uncomfortable in terms of security that it was unconstitutional.

More importantly, it is wise to claim that the system deprives voters of all voting rights. Rather than focusing on one of the obstacles facing voters, this action declines all obstacles. The vote should not be an obstacle course, but the lawsuit claims that this is exactly what Georgia has created through a combination of mischief and mischief.

The prosecution also has the advantage of taking place before the 2020 election season. When prosecutions are initiated during elections, the courts are under special pressure as court decisions can alter the election results. A Supreme Court ruling also prevents the courts from changing certain voting rules before the election because of a presumed risk of "confusion" of voters. A lawsuit now allows the courts to review claims for compensation without having immediate effect on the elections. the results. And even if claims fail, continuing to focus on Georgia's problems can help put pressure on election officials to fix the worst of what's wrong with the state.

I wrote in a previous slate assert that it is dangerous to claim that the elections in Georgia were "stolen" because they weaken the trust in the fairness of the electoral process and divert the attention of the dignity of each voter. This lawsuit establishes the right balance by putting the focus on each voter. Some people in Georgia, especially people of color, should not have a much harder time voting and their votes counted in a fairer and more accurate system than others.

Voters in Georgia deserve a modern and fair voting system by 2020. This legal action, direct or indirect, could help them to get it.


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