Justice Dept. Sues Georgia to Ensure Overseas Military Right to Vote

Tuesday, July 03, 2012
U.S. soldiers voting in Kabul, 2008 (photo: Paul Fanning, U.S. Army)
The U.S. Department of Justice is suing the state of Georgia over alleged violations of federal law that guarantee the right of overseas military personnel to participate in elections.
Federal attorneys claim that unless something is done, some soldiers and their families won’t be able to participate in Georgia’s primary runoff election on August 21.
The lawsuit, brought under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), seeks an order requiring the state to accelerate the shipping of runoff ballots so that military personnel receive them 45 days in advance of the election, as required under the law.
Currently, Georgia plans to send the ballots out after July 7, which puts it in violation of UOCAVA.
Secretary of State Brian Kemp said he was “incredibly disappointed” by the news of the lawsuit. He told The Weekly of Peachtree Corners: “I do not view this as an earnest effort on behalf of military and overseas voters, but rather a politically motivated stunt during an election year. The timing and lack of communication simply does not allow for any other explanation.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
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