ACLU of Georgia

DeKalb Asked to Stop Canceling Voters With Temporary Addresses

By Mark Niesse | Atlanta Journal-Constitution | September 25, 2019

Voting rights organizations sent a letter Wednesday demanding that DeKalb County election officials stop canceling the registrations of voters without notification or a legitimate challenge to their residency.

DeKalb should ensure that voting rights are protected after the county elections board recently canceled the registrations of seven voters who listed the address of a mental health business as their residence, according to the letter from the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The business provides temporary housing for people who need a place to stay to avoid psychiatric hospitalization.

“Around the state, we continually find people making up ways to stop U.S. citizens from exercising their sacred, constitutional right to vote,” said Sean Young, legal director for the ACLU of Georgia. “It’s critical that Georgia have elections officials who protect this sacred right.”

The organizations asked DeKalb to adopt a policy that ensures voters aren’t removed from the rolls based on their residence unless steps are followed.

Elections officials should make at least two attempts to call and email voters whose residency has been challenged, the organizations said in their letter. In addition, challenges to residency should be submitted in writing from registered voters, not government officials.

DeKalb officials didn’t provide comment Wednesday.

Elections board in discussion.

Samuel Tillman, chairman for the DeKalb County Elections Board, talks to voters about the possibilities for early voting sites on April 24, 2017.