updated 10/16/2008 7:44:28 PM ET 2008-10-16T23:44:28

A federal judge on Thursday denied a request by voting groups to block Georgia's attempts to verify new voter applicants' identities and citizenship.

The groups argue in a lawsuit the action is a "systematic purging" of rolls before the election and say the checks must first be approved by the Department of Justice.

U.S. District Judge Jack Camp said it could lead to "significant voter confusion." The plaintiffs' case is still scheduled to be heard by a three-judge panel in U.S. District court next week.

Georgia is among several states with a history of discriminatory voting practices that must clear an additional hurdle. It must get federal approval before changing election policy under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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