More than 1,200 mail-in ballots have been thrown out in Georgia, with one-third concentrated in one county outside Atlanta. File Photo by Mike Nelson/EPA-EFE
Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Minority groups have filed a lawsuit over more than 1,200 absentee ballots that election officials have rejected.
Civil rights groups for Muslim and Asian-Americans are suing Gwinnett County election officials and Georgia's secretary of state over the ballots, asking for time to prove they are authentic.
Election officials said they rejected the ballots due to missing information or signatures that did not match those on voter registration files. In Gwinnett County, northeast of Atlanta, 465 ballots were rejected.
The Georgia Muslim Voter Project and Asian-American Advancing Justice Atlanta filed the lawsuit in federal court late Monday.
"Although the stakes of this case are high, the requested remedy is minimal, as it simply adapts the above existing procedures to the voters at issue here," the suit said.
The suit asks to allow voters until Nov. 9, three days after the midterm elections, to furnish the proof.
The American Civil Liberties Union said the ordeal isn't an isolated incident.
"This is an unprecedented number of disqualifications, and it's happening in a county where there are a number of contested races that have minority candidates on the ballot," Andrea Young, executive director of the Georgia chapter of the ACLU, told The Washington Post.
Gwinnett County spokesman Joe Sorenson said the county is "is committed to a process that protects the voting rights of all of its citizens and fully complies with the law in the process."
"The handling of absentee ballot applications and the acceptance and rejection of ballots by Gwinnett County has complied with the law and will continue to do so," he said.