Home Workers Compensation Law OPINION: Georgia’s voting issues deepen with new electoral legal guidelines Opinion

OPINION: Georgia’s voting issues deepen with new electoral legal guidelines Opinion

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In 2018 my voice was deleted.

To get the first vote of my life in the Georgia gubernatorial race this year, I drove from Savannah to my home district in Acworth (about four hours) to wait in line (more than two hours). I spent the time meeting an old friend in front of me and noticing what could possibly take so long and why more local schools were not being used for polling stations in our county.

When I finally got near the Shelton Elementary gym, I couldn’t cast my vote. I was logged out.

To put it simply, I had my college address in Savannah listed on an online government form at one point, and that came about when they swiped my ID card which listed a different address: my home in Acworth. To this day I do not understand why this prevented me from voting in a national election. The polling officer politely informed me that I could file a complaint with the State Department and gave me an envelope.

My anger turned into anger when I skipped over the first line: Brian P. Kemp.

Kemp went on to win the 2018 election by less than two pointsand he did so by making it as difficult for people to vote as possible, an abuse of power that is not uncommon in the affairs of elections in Georgia.

Election officials in Georgia have made it a habit to purge registered voters, citing “change of address”. Almost, according to a 2020 report for the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia (ACLU) two-thirds of the recently purged voters did not, in fact, move at all.

During the governor’s competition in 2018, the vote in Georgia was already a politically intense topic. Except for long lines, faulty voting machines and that Refusal of federal aid For reasons of electoral security, the electoral process in Georgia is rooted in a long history of disenfranchisement Black and other minority voters. Despite Kemp’s refusal, these voting rights issues, which became apparent in 2018, were brought into the spotlight in the 2020 presidential election and complicated by Donald Trump, who convinced many that there was plenty of electoral fraud. All of this led us to the Election Integrity Act of 2021 or Jim Crow 2.0, depending on who you ask.

Known in the Georgia Senate as Senate Act 202 and incorporated into law on March 25th, it is a 98-page omnibus that, among other things, includes the ‘jungle’ elementary school Fiasco with 20 candidates and both parties (Rev. Sen. Raphael Warnock led), codified weekend voting hours and absentee dropboxes, and, as you have probably heard, criminalized the distribution of food and drink to queued voters – yes, really.

While not every single piece of the bill is an insatiable assault on civil rights (thanks to the most egregious line items) wiped out by the party leadership After a backlash such as removing no apology mail-in votes and even voting on Sunday, none of these actions resolve the ACLU’s concerns about the repression of “young, low-income, urban and colored voters”. what has passed. Three parts strike me as blatant abuse of power:

Abuse of power

1. SB 202 requires voters requesting and returning postal votes to have a valid driver’s license or government identification number. The requirement for a government-issued ID card, while it sounds practical, can mean a significant hassle – a year 2014 Harvard Law School One study found that getting the materials required for an ID to pay for the ID itself can cost up to $ 175 – and essentially a loophole from the tax ban on tax set out in the 24th Amendment Represents surveys.

2. The popularly elected foreign minister is no longer chairman of the five-member state electoral committee. Instead, an independent chairman is now being appointed by state lawmakers. Republicans have controlled the General Assembly for over 15 years. Now they can monitor the state’s elections directly through their appointed chairman, who by law cannot be an elected official who has participated in a political campaign or who has campaigned for the past two years. This seems like a clear shot at Brad Raffensperger, Kemp’s successor as Secretary of State, who wouldn’t get his hands dirty. “find 11,780 votesFor Donald Trump in 2020. Democrats increased him As an unbiased hero of electoral rights in a state anchored in disenfranchisement tactics, a lawsuit filed by the Black Voters Matter Fund in December 2020 claims that Raffensperger struck Hundreds of thousands from electoral roles in the run-up to 2020 (a hero).

3. The State Election Board can now take responsibility for any of the hundreds of electoral offices in Georgia, up to four at a time. The state legislature’s argument is that offices struggling with an unusual turnout like 2020 can get a helping hand. But this puts democratic strongholds like Fulton and Chatham in the hands of an SEB officer if they find that local officials are at “Failure to comply, misconduct, or gross negligence”In the recent elections. For me, this rule is ripe for overreach by the state government.

Under the crises our state and our communities are facing, our representatives are working on it. Why should concerns about health expansion or our launch of the last vaccine be allayed when “too many people” are voting by mail or dropboxing? You might as well stay out of jobs either, since big corporations spoke out against 202 (but only after the bill went into effect) and even left the state, as baseball fans know too well.

Those in the film industry have also begun to take action – Will Smith and Antoine Fuqua have made their upcoming film “emancipationFrom Georgia, citing SB 202 for their exit.

The next time I wait in an unnecessarily long line to vote and someone offers me as much as a water bottle, they could be committing a crime. Voter identification laws are even stricter now than they were when my vote was dropped in 2018. Governor Kemp, didn’t you stop enough people in the elections with the laws that are already on the books?

“There is no doubt that there have been many alarming problems like this [2020] Choice was handled ” Said Kemp After signing SB 202 three years after directly overseeing an election in which he was running. I agree, Governor. We have some serious problems.