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The Latest: Georgia voting problems highlighted at hearing

Posted at 3:50 PM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 15:50:13-05

ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on a congressional field hearing in Atlanta on voting problems (all times local):

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3:40 p.m.

Democrat Stacey Abrams is highlighting strict voter registration requirements, polling place confusion and other obstacles Georgia voters faced in the 2018 election in testimony before a congressional field hearing.

Abrams, who lost her bid for Georgia governor last year, testified Tuesday that there was a "systemic breakdown" in the state's electoral process.

The House subcommittee also heard from a Georgia-based lawyer with the ACLU, a former deputy chief in the Civil Rights Division within the Department of Justice, the founder of Black Votes Matter and an Atlanta-area voter who experienced difficulties voting last November.

Democrats say they are gathering evidence as they look to restore sections of the Voting Rights Act that were set aside by a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

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2:10 p.m.

A congressional subcommittee is highlighting voting problems in Georgia as possible justification for restoring federal oversight of elections in places with a history of discrimination.

Rep. Marcia Fudge, who chairs the House subcommittee on elections, says Democrats are gathering evidence of voter irregularities and suppression. They held an earlier hearing in Texas, with more planned in other states.

Their goal is to restore sections of the Voting Rights Act that once required election officials in all or parts of 14 states to get federal approval before making changes to the voting process. A 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision tossed out those provisions.

The lone Republican on the subcommittee, Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois, did not attend the hearing. As a result, Republicans did not call any witnesses to testify.