Georgia GOP Will Ensure Election Integrity By Making Voting As Whites-Only As Possible
The balls on these people! Just look at this statement from the Georgia GOP defending its raft of new voter suppression laws.
Recently many of our citizens have expressed a lack of faith and integrity in our current election systems. We have heard these concerns voiced by many, and addressing these concerns has been at the forefront of our legislative efforts this year to promote the good of this state. We have spent several hundred hours thoroughly researching and comparing practices across the entire United States, searching for solutions to restore the integrity of elections in Georgia. We encourage all citizens to practice their civic duty, and in return it is our responsibility to ensure public confidence and trust in the system, ensuring our rights are protected.
Having lied to their supporters for months about widespread electoral fraud, Republicans will now address this "lack of faith and integrity in our current election systems" by shoving through a slew of bills making it harder to vote in Georgia.
What kind of shameless hacks would whip their constituents into a panic about non-existent demons, and then use this panic as a political tool to suppress minority votes? First class!
By sheer coincidence, these new laws will have the greatest effect on poor people of color and urban voters. But that has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Republicans just lost two Senate seats in Georgia and voted for Joe Biden in the presidential election, thanks to Stacey Abrams's tireless voter turnout efforts. These are selfless public servants only seeking to protect the vote from evil fraud gremlins! The furthest thing from their minds would be to ratfuck the polls in 2022 when Georgia holds elections for all major state offices and Raphael Warnock's Senate seat.
Republicans control both chambers of Georgia's legislature, and they're both getting in on the voter suppression fun. House Bill 531 restricts early voting to regular business hours plus one Saturday, which would eliminate Sunday "Souls to the Polls" events, when black churches arrange voting caravans. Aunna Dennis, executive director of Common Cause Georgia, described the bill as "Jim Crow with a suit and tie." It also shrinks the window for both early voting and absentee ballot requests, limits the use of drop boxes, and replaces signature matching to verify absentee ballots with a requirement that voters submit a copy of a photo ID. And to top it all off, the bill bars jurisdictions from accepting outside funding to modernize their election systems, in a nod to bullshit cases that alleged that Mark Zuckerberg "bought" Democratic votes, because the Center for Tech and Civic Life, which is funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, awarded grants to upgrade voting technology and increase voter access.
And the Senate version is even worse! That measure, which passed Tuesday, eliminates no-excuse absentee voting and imposes witness and photo ID requirements on the few voters who are elderly or physically absent from the jurisdiction and therefore eligible to cast their ballots by mail. It also shortens the window for counties to complete their vote tally, a burden that will fall heaviest on populous urban jurisdictions that may not be able to comply and face the prospect of disenfranchising their voters if they can't meet the deadline.
There's also a bizarre provision to allow the legislature to step in and hijack the tabulation process at will by removing county elections officials.
Within 15 days after receiving a recommendation of the superintendent's removal from office from the State Election Board in accordance with subsection (a) of this Code section, the legislative delegation by majority vote may temporarily remove such election superintendent from exercising his or her duties in accordance with this Code section. The duties of such election superintendent shall be filled for the period of suspension by the legislative delegation's appointment of a temporary election superintendent. In making such appointment, the legislative delegation by majority vote shall select a person or persons who have experience or training in managing and conducting elections to serve as temporary election superintendent.
"It's not about disenfranchising voters. It's not about overburdening the electorate. It's about efficiency and security," said the bill's sponsor, GOP state Senator Larry Walker. He scoffed at the notion that the ID requirement would disenfranchise voters, since only three percent of Georgia voters lack a photo ID. But you don't have to suppress a lot of votes to swing an election — three percent of the 4,935,487 votes cast in the state's 2020 presidential contest would be far in excess of Biden's 12,000 vote margin.
And maybe it'll work this time. Or maybe they'll poke the bear again and wind up with Black and brown voters standing in line for however long it takes to throw their sorry asses out. Only Stacey Abrams knows. But just in case, the House bill makes it illegal to give food or water to voters stranded in endless lines waiting to vote. They ain't exactly subtle!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.