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Statement: Georgia Voter Suppression Bill

On March 25, 2021, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed the Election Integrity Act of 2021 into law.

Despite criticism of the bill (also known as Senate Bill 202 ) as a sweeping voter suppression bill, Governor Kemp heralded his decision to sign the bill as a step in the right direction to ensure our elections are “secure, accessible, and fair.”(1)

Sara Tindall Ghazal, the former election protection director of the Georgia Democratic Party called this law “extraordinarily dangerous”(2) The bill will impose new identification requirements for those who want to vote by mail, lessen the use of drop boxes for absentee ballots, make it a crime for third parties to hand out food and water to individuals waiting to vote, prevent the use of mobile voting vans, allow challenges to voter eligibility, and prevent local governments from accepting grants from the private sector.

This massive bill strips the Secretary of State of their power, delegating them as a non-voting member of the state elections board. It would also allow lawmakers to initiate takeovers of local election boards.

Critics have said that this change would allow “partisan appointees to slow down or block election certification or target heavily Democratic jurisdictions.”(3) This would be particularly detrimental to many people in Democratic jurisdictions, like those who live in Atlanta and are more likely to target Black and Brown voters. Georgia Rep. Park Cannon was arrested for knocking on the door while Governor Kemp was signing the legislation into law (4). She was arrested for felony obstruction and preventing or disrupting the general assembly session. Cannon was released late Thursday night.

SisterLove would like to reiterate how important it is for us to call this what it is: an egregious attempt to roll back voting protections in Georgia in retaliation for the 2020 Presidential election and the Georgia Senate run-off that cost the Republican party its majority leadership in Congress and the White House. Republican leaning individuals, including Governor Kemp, are trying to quell the democratic process and prevent Democratic party voters from being able to cast their ballots. This is unacceptable and all of us must work together to quell such efforts.

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