Georgia Democrats, Voters, and Advocates Oppose Republicans’ Latest Anti-Voter Efforts

May 30, 2024

Today, Georgia Democrats hosted a press conference with voting rights advocates to sound the alarm on Brian Kemp and Georgia Republicans continuing to pass anti-voter laws that obstruct access to the ballot box. 

As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in May, “Conservative activists are preparing to question the validity of thousands of Georgia voter registrations this summer, an election-year effort under the state’s new voter challenge law.” According to Democracy Docket, “S.B. 189 makes it even easier to invalidate a voter’s eligibility by not placing any limits on which factors can be used to make a valid claim — like if someone is registered to vote or has a ‘homestead exemption’ in another jurisdiction.” That law will take effect July 1. 

“I’m a lawyer and a near-native of Atlanta. I’ve voted in nearly every election in which I was eligible since 1993. That’s why I was absolutely shocked when on Primary Day last week, I went to sign into my voter page and I saw a notification that my voter registration had been challenged. No reason was given for the challenge…. It was confusing, and it was incredibly upsetting. But more importantly, it was utterly, completely baseless,” said Candace Smith, an Atlanta attorney and Georgia voter who had her registration challenged. “I reached out to my local election office to investigate. I was fortunate to get hold of someone quickly…[but] a voter who doesn’t have the time or the resources to resolve a challenge to their registration might simply go and give up and go home. And here’s the thing: that is precisely what these mass voter challenges and the Republicans’ voting laws are designed to do.”

“Georgia Republicans have passed not one, but two laws since 2020 to ensure that mass meritless voter challengers continue to target more voters. S.B. 202, passed in 2021, clarified that challengers could challenge as many voters as they wanted without limit, and S.B. 189, signed into law by Governor Kemp just weeks ago, rolls out a red carpet for challengers to interfere with our elections,” said Rep. Saira Draper (HD-90), former Director of Voter Protection at the DPG. “Kemp and the GOP cannot compete with Democrats on the battlefield of policies and good ideas…So how do Kemp and GOP stay in power when they don’t have the support of a majority of Georgians? They win their elections by making it harder for Georgians to vote.” 

“Another lesson we learned from 2020 Is that Democrats can out-organize voter suppression tactics,” continued Draper. “We did it in 2020 and we’re going to do it again this year. Democrats are going to be fighting harder than ever to ensure that all Georgia voters can cast a ballot and have it counted. The Democratic Party of Georgia’s Voter Protection Team is stronger than ever, and the Voter Protection hotline will be ready to assist anyone who needs it.”

“We need efficient and easy access for eligible voters to cast their vote, not new legal hoops for voters to jump through, like SB 189,” said Nora Benavidez, Civil Rights & Free Speech Attorney whose work in Georgia for more than a decade has included voting-rights and related litigation and protecting polling locations. “It’s essential for lawmakers to take seriously the views of their constituents and to rigorously develop policies that give communities opportunities, access, and the tools to live empowered lives. This new law, SB 189, advances none of these goals. It is a law that is cloaked as an election protection measure, but which ultimately creates barriers to the ballot box for Georgians and which threatens election officials with intimidation.”


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