ACLU of Georgia: Restricting Access to the Vote Restricts Freedom
ATLANTA – Last November, Georgia voters, volunteers, and election officials pulled together to hold a successful election in the midst of a once-in-a-century pandemic. Five million voters cast ballots, the results were counted and recounted, and the Secretary of State deemed the results to be accurate.
Nevertheless, the Republican members of the Georgia Assembly persist in undermining confidence in Georgia’s elections and are voting for measures that will block access to the ballot for working people of color.
On Tuesday, the Senate Ethics Committee passed HB 531 out of committee. This bill creates barriers to voting through the following.
- Severely restricts the use of drop boxes by making them available only inside advance voting locations during advance voting hours.
- Voters who work 9-5 jobs without flexibility would be severely limited in using drop boxes by such a constraint.
- Requires a photo ID for absentee ballot applications and again for submitting the absentee ballot (if a voter does not have a Social Security number).
- Requires the Secretary of State to RELEASE TO THE PUBLIC, WEEKLY a master list of NEW registrations which includes sensitive information of voters including racial and demographic data for each citizen registering to vote. This could have serious privacy implications for voters.
- Allows for legislative delegations to have a final say on suspending Boards of Elections/elections superintendents, creating a conflict of interest.
“The ACLU of Georgia opposes these restrictions on our sacred right to vote. Restricting access to the vote, restricts freedom. Period,” said Andrea Young, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia.
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