SAVANNAH, GA, March 26, 2021
On Thursday, March 25, 2021, Georgia Republican lawmakers passed SB 202 out of the House Special Committee on Election Integrity following drastic last-minute changes to the bill which would severely limit voter access to the ballot box, restrict absentee voting including access to drop boxes, and enforce a nearly impossible to implement run off calendar.
Jay Jones, Chairman of the Chatham County Democratic Committee released the following statement:
“Yesterday was a sad day in Georgia history. On Thursday, Governor Kemp took a significant step towards reviving Georgia’s dark history of voter suppression and racism as state policy. This bill creates more burden and cost and returns Georgia to old practices that were abandoned years ago for security, convenience, and safety. It is founded on baseless, racist far right conspiracy theories and paves the way for a wave of legislation that constitutes some of the worst attacks on voting rights since Reconstruction.
Last week lawmakers turned a two page bill into a 93 page omnibus bill chock full of the worst anti-democratic and anti voter proposals, and refused to release it to the public before it’s committee hearing on Thursday hence suppressing Georgia Voters ability to fully analyze the bill, because they know it will be seen for what it really is - modern day Jim Crow.
Brian Kemp and the GOP are now trying to outright silence Georgia voters by making it harder to cast a ballot and letting partisan actors take over local elections, against the will of local leaders and the majority of Georgians. Moving forward it is critical that Congress Pass HR1 and HR4 to protect voters and safeguard our democracy."
Senate Bill 202 dramatically restricts voting by absentee ballot and it places unnecessary and burdensome limits on the ability of Georgia citizens to vote at physical polling locations. The law removes the Secretary of State as chair of the State Election Board, allowing the SEB and lawmakers a process to temporarily take over elections offices, limits the number, location and access to secure absentee drop boxes and has a disproportionate impact on Black, minority, and rural voters across our state because it reduces the timeframe in which runoff elections are held, including the amount of early voting for runoffs. It also bars outside groups from handing out food or water to people standing in line to vote.
With SB now signed into law, and SB 241 and HB 531 moving through our legislature, Georgia continues to have some of the worst voter suppression bills in the nation.
Communications Chair, CCDC
President, First City Political Group