Georgia & Gwinnett NAACP Stop the Removal of More Than 37,000 Registered Voters in Gwinnett County
“This is a democracy and in a democracy all voices matter, even if you don’t want to hear from them,” said Gerald Griggs, Georgia NAACP President.
LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – Five days after the receiving notice of potentially violating state and federal law, the Gwinnett County Board of Elections called an emergency meeting Monday to cease pre-election challenges. On September 29, 2022, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL), acting for a coalition of voting rights advocates, notified the Georgia Secretary of State and Gwinnett County that the County has been illegally sustaining pre-election challenges to the eligibility of registered voters, and that continuing to do so for thousands of recent mass challenges will violate state and federal law. LCCRUL sent the letter on behalf of its clients, the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, Gwinnett County Branch of the NAACP, GALEO Latino Community Development Fund, Inc., Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, Inc., League of Women Voters of Georgia, and Common Cause. The notice letter is a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit under the NVRA.
The notice letter explained that any action by the Gwinnett County Board of Elections and Registration (BORE) to sustain residency-based mass challenges without rigorous individualized examination fails to comply with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA). Such actions also contravene the NVRA’s ban on systematically removing voters from election rolls within 90 days of an election. The thousands of challenges to registered voters are an intended consequence of the enactment of SB 202, Georgia’s 2021 omnibus voter suppression bill, to create more barriers to the ballot box, particularly in counties, such as Gwinnett, with significant populations of Black, Latinx, AAPI and other voters of color, and in counties with increasingly diverse electorates.
“While we are satisfied that the Gwinnett County BORE ceased what we believe a Court of Law would have found to be illegal under the NVRA, we must remain vigilant in ensuring that every resident of Georgian has equal access to the ballot box. This is a democracy and in a democracy all voices matter, even if you don’t want to hear from them,” said Gerald Griggs, Georgia NAACP President.
“We’ve fought hard in Gwinnett County to ensure equitable voting access for every resident in the County. It’s important to the Gwinnett County NAACP that Gwinnett County reflect the diversity of its residents. When there is a presence of equity at the ballot box, we can also experience equity in our day-to-day lives in the County we call home. We will keep our eyes on the Gwinnett County BORE to address all potential violations before, during, and after the election,” said Penny Poole, the Gwinnett County NAACP President.
LCCRUL will continue to monitor developments and remains committed to protecting the rights of Georgia voters. You may read the letter LCCRUL sent to the BORE and the Georgia Secretary of State here.