Senate backs voter registration changes opposed by advocates

ATLANTA (AP) – Information on Georgia voters’ registration forms would have to exactly match state or federal databases to be eligible to cast a ballot under legislation backed by the state Senate.

Voting-rights advocates say the requirement will disproportionately affect minorities and undermines the recent settlement of a federal lawsuit against Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

The lawsuit challenged a similar matching procedure that Kemp’s office implemented in 2010 and used until September. The suit filed earlier that month said the process prevented thousands of residents from registering based on data-entry errors, typos or other issues.

The bill would give rejected applicants 26 months to respond if their information doesn’t exactly match.

Senators voted 32 to 18. It returns to the House, which passed a similar version last month on party lines.

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