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Friday, April 9, 2010 - 6:31am

Secretary Of State Wants Lawsuit Over Voter Citizenship Checks

Georgia’s Secretary of State is asking state Attorney General Thurbert Baker to name a special attorney general to sue the Justice Department.

At issue—the refusal by federal officials to approve Georgia’s controversial program to check citizenship of people when they register to vote.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Republican, made the request in a letter sent to Baker this week, saying federal officials are playing politics under a Democratic president.

A spokesman for Baker tells the AJC the request is being considered, but that seeking pre-clearance through an administrative route would save time and money.

Georgia's previous Secretary of State, Karen Handel, had implemented the citizenship check program in 2008. At that time, the Justice Department said Handel needed to get federal pre-clearance under requirements of the federal Voting Rights Act.

Governor Sonny Perdue supports Kemp's appeal to the Attorney General.

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