DOJ rejects Handel’s appeal of voter verification

The U.S. Justice Department has denied Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel’s appeal of its decision to reject Handel’s plan for verifying voters’ citizenship.

Handel, a 2010 Republican gubernatorial hopeful, asked the department in August to reconsider its decision to reject the system.

The Justice Department in May said the verification program is frequently inaccurate and has a “discriminatory effect” on minority voters.

The decision meant Georgia had to halt the citizenship checks, which Handel launched in 2007  in response to the Help America Vote Act. That federal law required states to verify voters’ identity, but not necessarily citizenship.

The checks verify five criteria for new voters against information in databases held by the Georgia Department of Driver Services or Social Security Administration.

The Justice Department said the citizenship match had flagged 7,007 individuals as non-citizens but many were shown to be in error. Handel’s office said in June it was investigating more than 30 cases of non-citizens voting and more than 2,100 people who were flagged still hadn’t resolved questions regarding citizenship.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union sued Handel over the system in October, saying the checks amounted to a “systematic purging” of voter rolls just weeks before the election.

A three-judge federal panel declined to end the checks before November’s general election, but ordered the state to seek Justice Department preclearance. Georgia is required to have any change to its voting laws approved in advance by the Justice Department, as required by the Voting Rights Act.

The Justice Department in 2008 originally asked the state to submit the system for preclearance after the presidential campaign of then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama raised questions about it.

In a statement released Friday, Handel said the Justice Department “has put politics ahead of common sense.”

She said she will consider her options, which at this point include suing in federal court to overturn the Justice Department’s decision or revamping  the system and asking for Justice Department approval again.

12 comments Add your comment

Jeffrey

October 16th, 2009
1:29 pm

SMACK! Now stop wasting our money, Ms. Handel, and come up with a program that will stand the DOJ scrutiny. Have you actually asked the DOJ what would be acceptable or are you doing this in a vacuum? Quite frankly, this has been going on for two years, and one would think you could get it right by now.

William

October 16th, 2009
1:37 pm

She can’t get it right, seems like every time you turn around this lady’s name is on the ballot for something. She doesn’t stay in one job long enough, we all know she will not be elected as governor, so maybe this is the last that we will hear of her.

Marauder

October 16th, 2009
2:03 pm

Ok, great, now we’re cleared to be infected by the ACORN voter fraud scourge. Let the gaming begin . . .

Ghetto Grandpa

October 16th, 2009
2:46 pm

What’s that poor Handel girl to-do?

All she wants is to keep blacks folks from votin’

That’s a time honored tradition down here.

Speedy Gonzalez

October 16th, 2009
3:25 pm

Estoy muy contento de nuestros amigos comunistas en Washington han golpeado abajo esta mujer ahora yo y mi extranjero ilegal amigos pueden hacerse cargo de Georgia también! Bravo Bravo!

dgroy

October 16th, 2009
5:04 pm

Well, what did we really expect……?????

JuanD

October 18th, 2009
10:45 am

Yo quiero Taco Bell.

findthemorons

October 18th, 2009
3:40 pm

Each one of you giving Handel a hard time. You don’t get it, there is no regulation that will get by DOJ. With the number of illegals in the Atlanta area north, this will be a major problem. DOJ is a joke for all times allowing illegals to vote.

Change In America

October 19th, 2009
10:24 am

THis women Handel is racist and she not to be in office,
she said she going to sue the Justice Dept because she feel like
Black and latinos should not vote.

Do not vote for Handel

sharon

October 20th, 2009
9:33 am

I am very glad of this ruling. It is about time Handel face the music. I was in a meeting where alot of counties were telling of horrible experiences in the past Nov.,2008 election. I know for a fact…..people were turned away. People that registered to vote for the first time in their life. The problem????? well…….they were African American. Was this verified ? Yes. How? We made copies of them registering and had the list and the copies verified by the local county board. Their signature and date and time recieved. Uh oh………a record….that could not be shredded/lost….etc. In this meeting the eveidence of voter fraud was established. Result? They (Handel) told the county offical they were doing a good job…………………What??????????????????????? Yep. This person can not leave fast enough. If I and my husband had not presented this material and heard and saw how inattentive they were to anyone how presented their case, I would not have believed the story. I took a vacation day off …………just to witness this behavior.
go to one of these meetings……………..you will not believe what goes on. These meetings need to be set in on by Federal officals as well…….Maybe then they might even face their chairs to even look like they “might” be listening.

M

October 20th, 2009
2:05 pm

Shucks – Gwinnett County let me vote twice with my work ID, which has a bad picture of me with a hair color that is no longer mine and which has my middle name, not the first name I am registered to vote with. When I asked the second poll worker if that picture looked like me or if the ID had the correct name, she said “No,” then explained that all she was required to do was make sure that the ID was a valid ID, which it was, not check that it matched the voter! BTW, I’m a white female; ya think that matters?

Base

October 21st, 2009
12:55 pm

Handel doesn’t know when to stop especially when the peoples money is involved.Bad sign for a perspective Gov.to keep losing in court.