ACLU of Georgia Takes Action to Defend Voting Rights Against Unprecedented Attacks
Open records request filed for all voting-related communications between Secretary of State and Trump administration
ATLANTA — The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia joined the New Georgia Project, Common Cause Georgia, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta, the Georgia NAACP and the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta today to announce actions to combat the Trump administration’s unprecedented attack on voting rights and promote greater voter participation.
“Taken together, the Trump administration’s actions represent the gravest threat to voting rights in more than 50 years,” said ACLU of Georgia Executive Director Andrea Young. “Today we’re fighting back to protect access to the ballot and ensure Georgia state officials are not complicit in Trump’s dangerous voter suppression scheme.”
Last week, the Vice Chair of President Trump’s so-called “Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” Kris Kobach sent letters to all 50 states requesting a list of all registered voters, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, their addresses, dates of birth, political affiliation, and their voting history. Meanwhile, on the same day, the U.S. Justice Department sent its own letter asking for Georgia’s voter purge procedures.
Today, the ACLU of Georgia filed an open records request for all communications between Secretary Kemp’s office and the Trump administration related to voting and the elections commission. To verify that Secretary Kemp is not sending confidential, personal identifying information – such as Social Security numbers – the ACLU of Georgia is also demanding a copy of any information that Secretary Kemp sends to the Trump administration. The request also asks Secretary Kemp to provide the same information that the Justice Department has requested related to Georgia’s purge procedures.
“Given Secretary Kemp’s own record of putting up barriers to the ballot box, his willingness to go along with this charade should concern everyone who cares about the strength of our democracy and the fairness of our elections,” said Andrea Young. “Georgia voters deserve to know the full extent of state officials’ collusion with the Trump administration’s voter suppression scheme – so that we can hold these officials accountable for their actions, and protect access to the ballot.”
In addition to the open records requests filed today, the ACLU of Georgia will be mobilizing its supporters to advocate for reforms to make it easier for eligible voters to vote, and promote free and fair elections. Specifically, the ACLU of Georgia is calling for:
- An end to the practice of removing voters from the rolls based on the absurd and arbitrary assumption that any voter who does not vote in a three-year period must have moved.
- Nonpartisan redistricting so that voters choose their elected officials, not the other way around.
- Same-day registration, so that Georgia voters have the option of registering to vote and casting their ballot on the same day.
“Georgia deserves better than a bogus solution to an invented problem,” said Nse Ufot, Executive Director of the New Georgia Project. “This is a time when we should encourage greater voter participation, not deceive and deter. Our work continues and we march on, advocating for Georgians’ voting rights.”
“Georgians understand that this is a scare tactic threatening our fundamental rights,” said Rev. Raphael Warnock, Board Chair of the New Georgia Project. “Now more than ever, we must be careful as commissions and bad information can cheapen and undermine our democracy. We must protect our sacred right to vote.”
“This request from a Jeff Sessions DOJ is suspect,” said Francys Johnson, Statesboro Civil Rights Attorney and Georgia NAACP President. “The NAACP has no confidence in Brian Kemp or the Attorney General regarding protecting voting rights. The foxes are literally guarding the hen house.”
A copy of the open records request is at: https://www.acluga.org/sites/default/files/open_records_request_7_7_17.pdf
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