State representatives voice concerns over Gwinnett County early voting

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Some state lawmakers claim election officials are suppressing minority voters in Gwinnett County.

One state representative who has lived in Georgia's most diverse county for 40 years says he is embarrassed.

“Gwinnett County is better than this. Gwinnett County represents nine percent of the state of Georgia, but 37 percent of the absentee ballots that were rejected were here in Gwinnett County. That should not happen. That is the leadership’s fault and the leadership needs to change,” the House District 100 Representative said.

“Of the 1219 rejected ballots, 40 percent of them are here in Gwinnett. Of those rejected ballots in Gwinnett County, more than 70 percent are people of color, Rep. Sam Park of District 101 detailed.

Rep. Parks and members of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus say many voters whose absentee ballots have been rejected don’t even realize it. They complain there is no timetable to get back with voters. That is why they support the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights lawsuit against Gwinnett County officials and a second lawsuit filed in federal court against Secretary of State Brian Kemp who is implementing the Exact Match Law which has some 53,000 Georgia voters in limbo because of discrepancies in their registration information.

The county could not respond because of the pending lawsuit but released a statement that says the acceptance and rejection of ballots by Gwinnett County have complied with the law.

County officials say they have had record turnout during advanced voting this week. In fact, they say it has outpaced early voting during the 2016 Presidential Election.