Voting Rights Watch: Deadlines highlight need to double-check registration
Facing South will be providing ongoing, in-depth coverage of important voting rights issues across the South this critical election year. Check back for more coverage and updates.
Today is not only the vote registration cut-off date for states across the South and country -- it's also the last day for many voters to make sure their registrations are correct.
A couple stories around the South:
* In Georgia, a 43-year-old man in Cobb County, GA found his name was inexplicably purged from the voter rolls, even though he hadn't moved. Adding to the confusion is the secrecy surrounding Georgia's voter-purging process, a problem documented in a recent report by the Brennan Center. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
Despite numerous requests, state elections officials would not identify the voters whose names were removed nor say how many people were affected in the latest round. [GA election spokesman Matt] Carrothers said the information wouldn't be available until after the upcoming election.
* In Newport News, Virginia, a man who served out his felony sentence did all his paperwork and was told by local election officials on September 15 he'd receive confirmation of his right to vote. But he hasn't gotten anything, and the election website says "the books close 29 days prior to the general election."
Other voting rights news:
* Provisional ballots are supposed to be the back-up if there's a problem with casting your ballot. But what happens when there are problems with the provisional ballots? This weekend, voters in New Orleans arrived to find multiple polling stations didn't have provisional ballots for them to cast when questions came up about their registration status.
* There continues to be animosity in Alabama around the abrupt decision of Republican officials to stop registration of jail inmates, which is permitted by law.
* Thousands of voters displaced by Hurricane Ike are struggling to find a way to vote. Voters are trying to find early voting sites and how to send in absentee ballots. Election workers, on the other hand, are dealing with problems like shortages of ballots.