NAACP, the nation’s foremost civil rights organization, sent a letter to Georgia elections officials just two days after the state’s too-close-to-call elections, demanding a prompt investigation into reports that Georgia student voters were turned away from polling stations, unable to vote. Others were improperly required to vote provisional ballots.
The letter cites two instances where university students who registered to vote using their school addresses at Albany State University in Dougherty County were turned away even though their registration could be confirmed on the Secretary of State’s website. NAACP has since been informed that more than two dozen students at Albany State were unable to vote regular ballots and is now calling for a full investigation into whether there was a pattern of interference with students’ voting rights.
“It is deeply troubling that duly registered voters were initially denied the opportunity to cast ballots, and that it took intervention by the NAACP to correct the denial of their rights,” said NAACP General Counsel, Bradford Berry, in the letter. “This incident raises the question whether other properly registered voters—and in particular students—were turned away from the polls on Tuesday.”
“This is yet another example of the suppressive tactics used in Georgia to block voters from accessing the polls,” said NAACP president and CEO, Derrick Johnson. “Young people are a critically important voting bloc and it’s disturbing that their rights were denied because of a pattern of voter disenfranchisement in the state. We will continue to do all that we can to ensure the political voices of young people and all people in Georgia don’t go silent.”
NAACP organized Election Protection call centers in Georgia and across the country where votes could report issues they had when trying to cast a ballot on Election Day. The organization received hundreds of calls throughout the day and intervened in the situation when necessary.