The news service reported
The Justice Department has rejected Georgia's attempt to require prospective voters in the state to provide proof of citizenship...Gov. Sonny Perdue signed the bill last month making Georgia the second state in the nation to require newly registering voters to prove they are U.S. citizens before casting a ballot. Under the Voting Rights Act, the state was required to get preclearance for the measure from the U.S. Department of Justice.The accurate part of these two paragraphs is that the Governor signed a bill - it was Senate Bill 86 which requires a person to present proof of citizenship to register to vote.
Then, Aaron Gould Shienin of the AJC reports:
Handel and her aides created the system in 2007 under the requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act. The law requires states to verify a voter’s identity at the time of registration, but not necessarily to verify citizenship. In creating the system, Handel’s office extended the verification process to include citizenship; something the Justice Department said was “discretionary on the state’s part.”This paragraph is referring to Secretary Handel's controversial scanning of the voter database in search of anomalies resulting in many registered voters being purged. It does not refer to SB 86 which was just enacted.
Or maybe it does. Neither article clearly defines if the Justice Department was talking about the previous practice, the new law or both.
Given the glacial pace of the federal government, it's doubtful they acted so quickly on a law which won't affect an election for 15 months. It's very likely they finally moved on a policy executed in the last cycle. In other words, it is a good bet the local boys and girls got it right and the wire service got wrong.
Either way, someone needs to answer for shoddy work.